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UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 

The Technical Services 

THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS: 

OPERATIONS IN THE WAR 

AGAINST GERMANY 



by 

William F. Ross 

and 

Charles F. Romanus 




SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS 
DEPOSlTOlf^Y 



JUL 3 200^ 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 
?nuPRMMENT DOCUMENTS DEPT_ 



CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY 

UNITED STATES ARMY 

WASHINGTON D.C, 2004 



Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 64-60003 



First Printed 1965— CMH Pub 10-15 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 

Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800 

Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001 



n 



[> unn^ ^ 



UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 

Stetson Conn, General Editor 

Advisory Committee 

(As of 15 June 1963) 



Fred C. Cole 
Washington and Lee University 

William R. Emerson 
Yale University 

Earl Pomeroy 
University of Oregon 

Theodore Ropp 
Duke University 

Bell I. Wiley 
Emory University 



Maj. Gen. Hugh M. Exton 
U.S. Continental Army Command 

Maj. Gen. Tom R. Stoughton 
Industrial College of the Armed Forces 

Brig. Gen. Ward S. Ryan 
U.S. Army War College 

Col. Elias C. Townsend 

U.S. Army Command and General Staff 

College 

Col. Vincent J. Esposito 
United States Military Academy 



C. Vann Woodward 
Yale University 



Office of the Chief of Military History 
Brig. Gen. Hal C. Pattison, Chief of Military History 



Chief Historian 

Acting Chief, Histories Division 
Chief, Editorial and Graphics Division 
Editor in Chief 



Stetson Conn 
Lt. Col. Paul W. Phillips 
Lt. Col. James R. Hillard 
Joseph R. Friedman 



. . . to Those Who Served 



Foreword 



Publication of this volume completes the subseries dealing with 
Quartermaster operations during World War II. Two companion volumes 
of this group have described the Quartermaster organization and achieve- 
ments in the United States, and a third has told about operations in the 
Pacific in the war against Japan. The principal Quartermaster function 
in World War II was to supply items needed by all Army troops, most 
notably, food and clothing. But the Quartermaster Corps was more than 
a supply force; it provided many services, such as bath and laundry facil- 
ities, necessary to the health and comfort of the troops. The prompt 
collection and careful identification and burial of the dead and the re- 
spectful and suitable disposition of their possessions were essential services 
that contributed much to the morale of the front-line soldier. While 
established to serve the Army itself, before the war was over in Europe 
the Quartermaster organization found it had also to provide minimum 
support for millions of war prisoners and destitute civilians. 

However prosaic a history of providing goods and services may seem 
at first glance, this was an activity of vital concern to the American soldier, 
and in the Mediterranean and European theaters it was an enormous and 
highly complicated operation. By the spring of 1945 the Quartermaster 
organization in the European theater was feeding and clothing and other- 
wise providing necessities and comforts to more than seven and one-half 
million people, the largest human support operation by a single organi- 
zation in all history to that time. Inevitably Quartermaster officers and 
troops could not satisfy everybody, and made some mistakes; it is to the 
credit of the authors of this volume that they have tackled fairly and 
squarely— if not laid to rest— a number of controversial issues. Since so 
much of the Quartermaster effort was essentially civilian in its character, 
the general as well as the military reader should find this work instructive. 

Washington, D.C. HAL C. PATTISON 

15 June 1963 Brigadier General, USA 

Chief of Military History 



vii 



The Authors 



William F. Ross, a graduate of Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.), has 
done graduate work in Germanics at the University of Berlin and at 
Harvard. Commissioned in the Field Artillery, AUS, in 1942, he then 
received training as a prisoner of war interrogator at Camp Ritchie, Md., 
and served in the G-2 Division in the Pentagon. He was an assistant mili- 
tary attache in Turkey from 1943 to 1946, and was then employed in the 
National Archives for a year, surveying the federal records created during 
the war. He is one of the coauthors of Federal Records of World War II: 
The Military Agencies (Washington, 1950) . Returning to active mili- 
tary duty late in 1947, he was assigned to OCMH in various capacities 
for nearly four years. During that time he was the last Army-sponsored 
editor of Military Affairs, and later was senior member of the team 
that translated and edited the German Reports Series of Department 
of the Army pamphlets. He was transferred to the Historical Divi- 
sion, U.S. Army, Europe, in 1951, and while there edited and brought to 
press the Guide to Foreign Military Studies, 1945-54: Catalog and Index 
(Darmstadt, 1955). During the years 1957-61, when Mr. Ross was engaged 
in writing The Qiiartermaster Corps: Operations in the War Against 
Germany, he was a civilian employee in the Historical Branch, Office of 
The Quartermaster General. He is now Assistant Historian, Defense Supply 
Agency. 

Charles F. Romanus is coauthor of three volumes on the China-Burma- 
India Theater already published in the series UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II: Stilwell's Mission to China (1953); Stilwell's Com- 
mand Problems (1956); and Time Runs Out in CBI (1959). He received 
the degree of Master of Arts in history from the University of Illinois and 
pursued his work for a doctorate at Louisiana State University, where he 
was a teaching fellow in history. Entering the Army in 1943, he was com- 
missioned in March 1945 and became a historian in Headquarters, China 
Theater. Except for the 3-year period (1953-56) during which he worked 
on the present volume as a member of the Historical Section, Office of The 
Quartermaster General, he has been on the staff of the Office of the Chief 
of Military History since 1946, serving presently as Chief, General Refer- 
ence Branch. He holds a commission as major in the U.S. Army Reserve. 



Vlll 



Preface 



This volume completes a series of four on the history of the Quarter- 
master Corps in World War II, which has been in preparation for some 
sixteen years. Two earlier volumes dealt with QM organization and activ- 
ities in the zone of interior, and another was devoted to the Quartermaster 
role in the war against Japan. The present volume deals with two major 
overseas theaters of operations— the Mediterranean and the European— and 
specifically with Quartermaster operations in those theaters. The term 
"Quartermaster operations" has deliberately been used in a somewhat 
restrictive sense, as referring to the highest level of active QM participation 
in military operations. The role of staff adviser on quartermaster matters 
in a senior headquarters has received only minor emphasis. Rather, the 
primary focus of attention has been upon varying levels within the military 
structure at different periods of the narrative. In particular, the reader 
will note that the European theater has been delineated from the point 
of view of the Theater Chief Quartermaster, whereas in the Mediterranean 
theater the roles of corps, army, and base section quartermasters receive 
far more emphasis. This difference in approach stems from inherent dif- 
ferences in the two theaters. The Mediterranean theater evolved slowly, 
and always under strong British influence, so that theater-level logistical 
developments to a great extent bore a British stamp. Moreover, there was 
a tendency for junior logistical commanders and staff officers in that area 
to exert an influence upon operations that had no counterpart in the more 
elaborate and tightly knit theater organization to the north. 

The positive and energetic control over QM operations in the European 
theater exercised by Maj. Gen. Robert M. Littlejohn should be regarded, 
not as stifling the initiative of his juniors, but as assuring an effective hear- 
ing for the Quartermaster point of view within the somewhat m.onolithic 
structure of the ETO Communications Zone. Thus, much of the history 
of QM operations in Europe is to a considerable degree a narrative center- 
ing about one man, his actions and reactions, his frustrations, mistakes, 
and triumphs in maintaining a strong position with respect to G-4 and to 
the other technical services, some of which were also commanded by strong 
and colorful personalities. While such a situation is seldom beneficial to a 
headquarters, it represents good fortune to the logistical historian, who is 



IX 



thereby rescued from a drab recital of routine compliance with policy 
directions from higher levels of command. 

This history had its origins in 1948 when Dr. Alvin P. Stauffer, visiting 
the AGO Records Administration Center in St. Louis to collect material 
for his own volume— The Quartermaster Corps: Operations in. the War 
Against Japan— aho assembled a large amount of data on Quartermaster 
activities in the ETO. During the following year, Dr. William H. Chaikin 
collected more material, and wrote a brief portion of a first narrative. 
Thereafter Dr. Irving Cheslaw completed a preliminary draft that was 
judged to need rather extensive revision and some expansion. When Dr. 
Cheslaw left the employ of the OQMG, the task of revision was entrusted 
to Mr. Charles F. Romanus, who had already collaborated in the writing 
of three official Army histories of the China-Burma-India Theater. Mr. 
Romanus worked on the manuscript for about eighteen months, during 
which time he revised and extended the chapters dealing with Mediter- 
ranean operations. He also collected all known wartime histories of Quar- 
termaster troop units, a useful contribution to subsequent research. In 
March 1957 the undersigned inherited the task of completing the volume, 
which involved a further revision and extension of the opening chapters 
and rewriting the larger portion of the manuscript, covering operations 
in the European theater, to conform to the revised Mediterranean chapters. 

The authors are grateful to many people, both military and civilians, 
whose co-operation and assistance made possible the production of this 
volume. Only a few can be mentioned by name. For example, it would be 
impracticable to list the more than forty participating officers, regular and 
reserve, who read reproductions of the preliminary draft by Dr. Cheslaw 
and made extensive comments. The comments of Dr. Kent R. Greenfield, 
the former Chief Historian, who read the entire draft for both form and 
content, were particularly helpful. All of the authors have profited from 
the supervision and friendly interest of Dr. Stauffer, and I inyself have 
benefited from the similarly helpful advice afforded by Dr. Erna Risch, 
who succeeded Dr. Stauffer as Chief, Historical Branch, OQMG. My 
thanks are due to Dr. Stetson Conn, the present Chief Historian, whose 
constructive criticism had much influence upon the final form of this 
volume, and whose counsel and critical judgment added much to its content. 
General Littlejohn not only made available all of his relevant personal 
papers but also contributed freely of his time both for interviews and to 
read and annotate draft manuscripts. Maj. Gen. William H. Middleswart, 
Brig. Gen. Joseph P. Sullivan, and Mr. William F. Pounder assisted the 
authors by making available their personal papers. Lt. Gen. Andrew T. 
McNamara and Brig. Gen. Georges Doriot (Ret.) each read entire chapters 
and made detailed comments. 

The editor was David Jaffe, Chief of the Editorial Branch, whose con- 
crete suggestions and recommendations were always appreciated, and especi- 



ally during the task of abridgment. Mr. Jaffe' was assisted by Mrs. Loretto 
Stevens, who demonstrated unusual patience in disentangling various 
problems occasioned by the varied working methods ot successive authors. 
Mrs. Norma B. Sherris selected the photographs. Maps, with one excep- 
tion, were prepared by the Cartographic Branch, OCMH. The cli- 
matic map showing temperature zones in Europe was prepared by the 
former QM Research and Engineering Command at Natick, Mass. Over a 
period of many years, the volume has had the benefit of neat and conscien- 
tious typing of repeated drafts by Mrs. Hadasel Hill and Miss Helene Bell. 

Washington, D.C. WILLIAM F. ROSS 

15 June 1963 



XI 



Contents 



Chapter Poge 

I. THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 1 

II. EARLY ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND NORTH 

AFRICA 13 

First PlaJis for the United Kingdom 13 

Organizing for BOLERO 19 

Supply Planning for BOLERO 30 

TORCH Interrupts BOLERO'S Quartermasters 38 

III. MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE DURING 

1943 . . . . ? 48 

Securing North African Beaches and Bases 49 

Supporting II Corps in Tunisia 56 

New Quartermaster Teams Organize in North Africa 65 

Quartermaster Organization in the Base Sections 73 

First Operations on Axis Territory 75 

IV. SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE .... 87 

Assembly at Naples 88 

The Slow Advance on Rome 96 

Pursuit to the Arno 107 

Close Support in the Gothic Line 110 

Supporting Sevejith Army's Landing and Push Northivard .... 114 

V. RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 129 

The Packaged Rations for Combat 129 

Kitchen-Prepared Rations 134 

Perishable Foods 139 

Local Procurement of Subsistence 141 

Field Bakeries 143 

Free Smokes, Soaps, and Sweets 146 

Ratioyis for Friends and Enemies 148 

xiii 



Chapter Poge 

VI. LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 155 

POL Administration 155 

Rates of Consumption 157 

Decanting Operations 159 

The ^-Gallon Can and Its Army Class III Home 162 

Solid Fuels 166 



VII. OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 171 

North African Testing Ground 172 

Mediterranean Laboratory on Replacement Factors 177 

Problems of the 1943-44 Winter Campaign 185 

Anzio Test of New Special Items 192 

The Second Winter in the Apennines 198 

Outfitting the DRAGOON Forces 204 

Local Procurement 205 

Clothing and Equipment for Allies and POW's 208 

VIII. ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 212 

Traditions in Caring for the Dead 212 

Salvage, Recovery, and Repair Programs 222 

Spare Parts 233 

Four-Legged Soldiers 236 

Clean Linens and Showers 243 



IX. THE QUARTERMASTER ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED 

KINGDOM 252 

Revived Plans for Combat 253 

Organizational Changes in SOS ETOUSA and the OCQM .... 254 

The Depot System 256 

The Base Sections 270 

Automatic Supply and Requisitions 272 

Transportation and Storage ... 280 



X. LIVING IN BRITAIN 289 

Subsistence 290 

Clothing 297 

British Laundry and Salvage Services 302 

Post Exchange Supplies 304 

Liquor 308 

Arrangements for Local Procuremerit 310 

xiv 



Chapter Page 

XI. THE BUILD-UP FOR OVERLORD 319 

The Curnmcmd and Logistical Organization 322 

Detailed Qjiartermaster Planning 326 

Special Supplies for the Assault 331 

Special Arrajigements for Support of the Beachhead 342 

OCQM Plans for Use of Quarterrnaster Troops 346 

Troop Training 353 

Filial Preparations for the Assault 356 

XIL REAR AREA SUPPORT ON THE CONTINENT: ADMINISTRA- 
TION 362 

Logistical Implications of the Allied Invasion 362 

Office of the Chief Quartermaster 364 

The Organization for Procurement on the Continent 379 

The Supply and Relief Operations of G-5 385 

ETO Requisitioning Procedures 389 

Regulating Stations 393 

XIII. REAR AREA SUPPORT ON THE CONTINENT: OPERATIONS 396 

Advance Section 396 

Base Sections and Base Depots 403 

The United Kingdom Base 422 

Qiiarterynaster Support During the Battle of the Bulge 425 

Reorganization for Offensive Action 428 

The Advance into Germany and Redeployment 433 

XIV. QUARTERMASTER SUPPORT IN THE FORWARD AREAS . . 441 

Qjiartermaster in the Army Group 445 

Q_uartermaster at Army Level 448 

Qjiartermaster at the Corps Level 466 

The Quartermaster in the Combat Division 470 

XV. ETO SUPPLY: RATIONS 485 

Early Class I Operations 486 

Levels of Class I Supply 488 

Balancing the Ration 495 

Perishable Subsistence 501 

Local Procurement of Subsistence 512 

Baking and Coffee Roasting Operations 515 

Acceptability of Rations 521 

Special Menus for Allied and Enemy Nationals 528 

Food for Refugees and Displaced Persons 536 

Food in the Final Phases 540 

XV 



Chapter ^«g« 

XVI. CLOTHING FOR THE ETO ENLISTED MAN 544 

Clothing and Individual Equipment 544 

The Winter Unijorm for the European Campaign 547 

Receipt and Forivarding of Winter Clothing 567 

Footwear and the Trench Foot Problem 599 

Press and Congressional Reaction 610 

An Official Evaluation 612 

XVII. OTHER CLASS II and IV ITEMS 615 

The Winter Clothing Conference and the 1945-46 Winter Uniform 615 

Clothing for Officers 621 

Clothing for Allies and Dependent Groups 631 

Tentage 635 

Materials-Handling Equipment 639 

Local Procurement 640 

XVIII. SUPPLY OF FUELS AND LUBRICANTS IN THE ETO .... 647 

Liquid Fuels 647 

Intermediate POL Depots and New Ports 656 

Consumption Rates 668 

Solid Fuels 671 

POL in the Final Offensives 674 

XIX. GRAVES REGISTRATION SERVICE 680 

Personnel for Graves Registration Activities 681 

Collection and Ideyitification 685 

Cemeteries in the Combat Zone 688 

Cemeterial Improvements 690 

Personal Effects 694 

The American Graves Registration Command 697 

XX. MISCELLANEOUS QUARTERMASTER SERVICES 701 

Bath and Laundry Services 701 

Salvage Collection and Repair 710 

Spare Parts 723 

Captured Enemy Materiel 728 

XXI. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS 732 

xvi 



Appendix Page 

A. Comparison of Quantities Listed in Beach Maintenance Sets, Follow- 

up Maintenance Sets, and Basic Maintenance Sets 740 

B. Quartermaster Troop Basis in the ETO 742 

C. Comparison of Winter C^Iothing and Equipment Recommendations, 

Summer 1944 744 

D. Winter Clothing Recommendations for 1945-1946 747 

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 749 

GLOSSARY 755 

INDEX 765 



Tables 

No. 

1. Fifth Army Ration Issues, Selected Months 137 

2. Ration Issues to Non-U. S. Personnel in Italy, 1 October 1943-31 May 1945 149 

3. Winter Uniform and Equipment for Fifth Army 198 

4. Fifth Army Issues of Winter Clothing 200 

5. Salvage Repair by Peninsular Base Section: Selected Items, 1 December 

1943-30 June 1945 232 

6. QM Storage Space in the United Kingdom, General Depots and QM Depots 262 

7. Quartermaster POL Depots, 31 December 1943 267 

8. Equipment of Assault Troops for Neptune 336 

9. Forecast of POL Consumption Per Man Per Day 339 

10. QM Units Assigned to First and Third Armies and SOS ETOUSA, 2 June 

1944 352 

11. ETOUSA Strength Forecast for QM Requisitioning 373 

12. Base, Intermediate, and Advance Sections 405 

13. Development of the QM Depot System on the Continent 413 

14. Types of Rations Issued on the Continent 491 

15. Issue of Fresh Meat and Dairy Products on the Continent 509 

16. Average of Daily Ration Issues, October 1944-September 1945 530 

17. Comparison of Continental and POW Rations With U.S. Ration .... 533 

18. Summary of First Winter Clothing Program, 7 September 1944 569 

19. Class II and IV Tonnages Discharged and Moved Forward From Ports . . 581 

20. Issues of Special Winter Clothing 596 

21. ETO Tentage Requirements, Allocations, and Receipts 636 

xvii 



Charts 

No. Page 

1. OCQM Organization on 3 June 1944 257 

2. Office of Chief Quartermaster: 1 September 1944 367 

3. Progress in Inventory of QM Supplies 416 

4. Distribution of QM Stocks in Base, Intermediate, and Advance Sections, 

August 1944-May 1945 431 



Maps 



1. United Kingdom Base Sections, 1942-1943 27 

2. Lines of Communication in French North Africa facing 39 

3. Boundaries of the Temperate Zone in Europe 552 



Illustrations 

Heavily Burdened Soldiers Debarking at Phosphate Pier, Casablanca . . 56 

QM Ration Dump at Tebessa 58 

QM Depot at Leghorn 109 

Emptying Gasoline Drums 160 

Parsons Jacket 173 

The M1943 Outfit 191 

Temporary American Cemetery Near Cassino 218 

American Pack Unit, Italy 241 

Typical Warehouse, Staffordshire, England 259 

The "Wem Wrap" 264 

Open Storage of Packaged Gasoline at Highbridge, England .... 266 

British Women War Workers Unloading American Supplies .... 293 

Preinvasion Training, England 335 

Setting Up a POL Dump on the Beach 358 

Supplies Stored at 11th Port, Rouen 411 

Low-Priority Supplies at Antwerp 417 

Open Storage of Flour at Verdun . .- 421 

Redeployment Staging Area Near Marseille 439 



XVlll 



Page 

First Army Ration Dump at Soissons 455 

Loading a Ration Train for tlie Third Army, Verdun 494 

Diesel Electric Dough Mixer 516 

Food Arriving in Paris by Airlift 538 

Issuino Items From Beach Maintenance Sets 546 

Britisii Battle Dress Uniform 549 

ETO Jackets as Worn by Generals Eisenhower and Bradley 550 

Winter Clothing Arrives in the Front Line 580 

Contrasting Jackets 593 

QM Issue Point at Mannheim, Germany 594 

Sleeping Gear, New Type 598 

Armored Winter Combat Uniform 617 

Generals and Their Jackets 619 

German Prisoners at Reims Repairing Captured Clothing 633 

Ship-to-Shore Petroleinn Line 649 

Gasoline Cans for the Third Army 652 

Prisoners of War Filling Gasoline Cans at Liege, Belgium 659 

Heavy Duty Dispensers Speed Up the Decanting of Gasoline .... 675 

Finnigating Wool Clothing 706 

Salvage Collection at Dimip in Normandy 712 

Mobile Shoe Repair Trailer 716 

Illustrations are from Department of Defense files. 



XIX 



CHAPTER I 



The Heritage and Mission of 
Field Quartermasters 



By V-E Day, 8 May 1945, the Quarter- 
master Corps in the Mediterranean and 
European theaters was feeding, cloth- 
ing, and equipping more than 3,500,000 
Americans on the most elaborate scale 
ever attempted by any army. It was act- 
ing as supply custodian and wholesaler 
to the far-flung civil affairs organization, 
and in addition, ^vas providing direct 
support, largely from military stocks, to 
at least 5,000,000 Allies, civilians, and pri- 
soners of war. An operation of this mag- 
nitude, supported from a base over 3,000 
miles away, inevitably developed tempo- 
rary shortages and local crises, but Quar- 
termaster operations as a whole were out- 
standingly /successfid. Paying tribute to 
the supply effort in which the Quarter- 
master Corps played a major role, a Con- 
gressional report in the immediate post- 
war period stated: "The supply of our 
armed forces in Europe has been a re- 
markable achievement, involving the de- 
livery across the ocean and over beaches 
and through demolished ports, and then 
over a war-torn countryside into France 
and Germany of tonnages far in excess of 
anything previously within the concep- 
tion of man." ^ 



The overseas Quartermaster organiza- 
tion of World War II was not wholly 
new; that of the European theater, especi- 
ally, bore a striking resemblance to the 
organization in France during World 
War I.- The earlier conflict provided a 
fairly complete preview, on a more mod- 
est scale, of the Quartermaster Corps 
mission, responsibilities, and problems 
in the second war against Germany. 
Before examining in detail the ex- 
perience of World War II, it might be 
well therefore to note the heritage, the 
mission, and the tools of the Corps in the 
earlier war. 

In August 1912, after a decade of legis- 
lative debate and delay, a rider to an 
Army appropriation bill provided for 
the establishment of the Quartermaster 
Corps. Military planners thought that 



'Senate Report no, 79th Cong., 1st sess., 6 July 
1945, Additional Report of the Special Committee 
to Investigate the National Defense Program [Kil- 



gore Committee]: Irwestigation Overseas, pt. 2, 
Conclusions. 

"This section on the background of the Quarter- 
master Corps in the field is based on the following 
volumes: Erna Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: 
Organization, Supply, and Sennces, Volume I, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 

(Washington, 1953); Erna Risch, Quartermaster 
Support of the Army: A History of the Corps, 
1775-1939 (Washington, 1962); Johnson Hagood, 
The Sennces of Supply: A Memoir of the Great War 

(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927); Maj. 
Gen. Robert M. Littlejohn, editor and compiler, 
Passing in Review (Fort Lee, Va., 1955). (See 
Bibliographical Note.) 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



faulty administrative practices, evident 
in the Spanish-American War, would be 
corrected by combining three century- 
old supply bureaus of the War Depart- 
ment—the Quartermaster's Department, 
the Subsistence Department, and the Pay- 
master General's Department— into one 
corps. This new Quartermaster Corps 
would provide not only supply but serv- 
ices as well. 

The newly organized Corps had in 
command a Quartermaster General with 
the rank of major general. The legisla- 
tion of 1912 gave the new Corps a highly 
diversified mission. The old Quarter- 
master's Department had furnished trans- 
portation, clothing, and equipment for 
the U.S. Army and had constructed and 
repaired quarters and transportation 
facilities along lines of communication. 
Under the reorganization plan the QMC 
kept these traditional functions and 
added the duties of feeding the Army in 
garrison and in the field, paying troops, 
and handling fiscal matters. Moreover, 
the Corps would continue to administer 
the national cemeteries in the United 
States, and would be the agency called 
upon to develop new policies for graves 
registration service and overseas ceme- 
teries in time of war. 

Probably the most significant aspect of 
the reorganization of 1912 was in the field 
of military personnel. The three supply 
bureaus had been essentially civilian 
agencies directed by a few high-ranking 
officers. From the Revolution through 
the war with Spain, Quartermaster field 
operations had been supervised by pro- 
fessional and volunteer Quartermaster 
officers and carried out either by civilian 
employees or by detachments of combat 
troops when civilians were not available. 
The creation of a Quartermaster Corps 



meant that such functions would gradu- 
ally be transferred to Quartermaster of- 
ficers and enlisted personnel, perman- 
ently organized into separate Quarter- 
master units. 

Organization of the QMC was but one 
of many steps in the process of evolving 
a modern military establishment, capable 
of waging a major war. For Army-wide 
exposition, the Field Service regulations 
of May 1913 introduced new concepts of 
the organization and support of a mod- 
ern field army. The regulations contem- 
plated a theater of operations subdivided 
into administrative and tactical com- 
mands, each with Quartermaster staff 
officers and assigned or attached Quarter- 
master service units. Specifically, the 
regulations foresaw the evolution of two 
types of field Quartermaster officers: a 
communication zone, or "pipeline," 
quartermaster to supervise the filling of 
a system of base depots with supplies, 
and a tactical, or "spigot," quartermaster 
to draw supplies for his unit at a depot 
or railhead and issue them for consump- 
tion in battle. In their respective areas 
both officers would be concerned with 
providing services as well as supplies. 

The Quartermaster Corps had had 
little opportunity to test the efficiency of 
these doctrines in the clash along the 
Mexican border in 1916. Until the 
United States entered World War I, the 
QMC functioned more as a procuring 
agency than as a field supply service. 
When war came, there were only four 
types of Quartermaster field units: bak- 
ery, truck, pack, and wagon companies. 
Now untried officers armed with sets of 
untested precepts had to adapt the Quar- 
termaster mission to a war that was con- 
tinental in scope, sluggish in movement, 
and shallow in front. In thp summer of 



THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 



3 



1917 the Corps sent Col. Harry L. Rogers 
to France, where he soon became a brig- 
adier general and Chief Quartermaster, 
American Expeditionary Forces. Once in 
the field his staff was initiated into the 
new dimensions in warfare brought 
about by such technical innovations as 
the internal combustion engine, track- 
laying vehicles, military aircraft, chem- 
icals, and barbed wire entanglements. 

World War I made several distinct con- 
tributions to the future mission and 
organization of the Quartermaster Corps. 
First, General John J. Pershing, com- 
mander of the American Expeditionary 
Forces (AEF), used a separate adminis- 
trative command, called the Services of 
Supply (SOS), to support his field armies. 
Under this command and staff arrange- 
ment, the Chief Quartermaster, SOS 
AEF, worked along a lengthy line of 
commiHiications with chiefs of other 
overseas technical services such as the 
Engineers, Ordnance, and the new 
Transportation Corps. Pershing's Gen- 
eral Headquarters and SOS Headquart- 
ers each had a staff section headed by an 
assistant chief of staff, G-4, an officer who 
planned, co-ordinated, and supervised 
functions pertaining to supply, services, 
evacuation, hospitalization, and trans- 
portation. Before the organization of the 
U.S. Army General Staff in 1903, the 
Quartermaster General had been in effect 
a G-4 staff officer, handling logistical 
planning and providing transportation 
for troops and supplies. Now for the first 
time in the field a chief quartermaster, 
as both planner and executive, came 
under this type of general staff supervi- 
sion. Thus World War I introduced the 
Quartermaster Corps to an entirely new 
command and staff framework. 

Another contribution to Quarter- 



master Corps organization during World 
War I was a system of echeloning terri- 
torial SOS commands along Pershing's 
lines of communications. Base, interme- 
diate, and advance sections of SOS, each 
controlled a number of rear area instal- 
lations, including one or more Quarter- 
master depots. These provided reserves 
from which supplies consumed by the 
troops in battle could readily be replaced. 
Theoretically, the new system of admin- 
istration gave SOS section commanders 
control over all activities within their re- 
spective areas and gave chiefs of technical 
services supervisory functions over 
branch depots, their own personnel and 
units, and training activities. In reality, 
so pronounced was the overlapping of 
command versus staff responsibilities, 
and functional versus geographical 
chains of command, that many problems 
of co-ordination developed, and these 
very problems were to vex quartermas- 
ters in World War II. 

In the field of local procurement, the 
lessons of World War I seemed particu- 
larly valuable, and supply authorities 
followed precedents then established 
very closely during the succeeding con- 
flict. A General Purchasing Board 
(GPB) was established under the chair- 
manship of Brig. Gen. Charles G. Dawes, 
a wartime volunteer officer with exten- 
sive purchasing experience. All the tech- 
nical services were represented on this 
board, which existed primarily to elimi- 
nate competition for materials and sup- 
plies, both among services and among the 
various Allied nations. The GPB was a 
co-ordinating agency which located sup- 
plies, assisted the technical services in 
making purchases, and handled financial 
arrangements. It did not attempt to con- 
trol either quantities or quality of sup- 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



plies purchased. The GPB became a very 
large organization, with offices in all Al- 
lied and neutral countries, and its pur- 
chases contributed more than half of the 
supplies consumed by the AEF, or some 
ten million ship tons out of a total of 
eighteen million. More than half of these 
locally purchased goods were Quarter- 
master supplies. In both conflicts, the 
original impetus for local procurement 
was a severe shipping shortage, aggra- 
vated by enemy submarine warfare. In 
both cases procurement continued un- 
abated after shipping shortages had been 
overcome, because the needs of combat 
could not wait for the elimination of 
production bottlenecks in the United 
States. 

The appearance of twenty-six types of 
Quartermaster service units in France 
was another significant development of 
World War I. As trench and tank warfare 
increased the scope of combat support, 
Quartermaster units were organized, 
many of them locally in the theater, to 
perform additional supply and service 
functions for the fighting troops. Some 
of these innovations were inspired by the 
example of similar Allied units, while 
others were prompted by a desire to pro- 
vide troops in the field, so far as possible, 
with some of the comforts and amenities 
of American life. Compiling formal 
tables of organization for these units and 
obtaining official sanction for their inclu- 
sion in the troop list were long-drawn-out 
administrative processes, carried on 
piecemeal and still incomplete at the end 
of hostilities. Nevertheless, the Army in 
the zone of interior displayed consider- 
able flexibility and speed in activating 
and training these new units, and in de- 
ploying them overseas. Of 706 Quarter- 
master units in France on 15 December 



1918, 444 or 63 percent had been organ- 
ized in the United States. Among the 
more important new units were depot, 
supply, refrigeration, laundry, steriliza- 
tion and bath, gasoline supply, graves 
registration, salvage, remount, and vari- 
ous types of repair units, each supplied 
with specialized types of equipment. On 
Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, Quar- 
termaster Service, AEF, had 100,731 
troops within an over-all total of 1,925,- 
000, or 5.2 percent.^ 

Between the two world wars, Quarter- 
master Corps field doctrine remained rel- 
atively static. The whole Army shrank 
in size and did not institute any tactical 
innovations that required new types of 
support. Existing regulations provided 
for an adequate, combat-tested Quarter- 
master field organization, to operate in 
accordance with proved doctrine. A wide 
variety of QMC service units, also com- 
bat-tested, could be activated whenever 
they were needed and funds became avail- 
able. Although it was generally agreed 
that Quartermaster organization and 
doctrine were sound, planners also recog- 
nized that they were neither simple nor 
easily understood. The Corps therefore 
devoted its major effort in those years to 
an intensive indoctrination of its young 
officers. Academic instruction and peace- 
time maneuvers are no satisfactory sub- 
stitutes for war experience, but all the 
possibilities of such training methods 
were systematically exploited at QM 
schools. Classroom instructors taught 
over and over again the maxims that sup- 



^ (1) Risch, Quartermaster Support of the Army, 
ch. XV. (2) Memo, Littlejohn for CG SOS 
ETOUSA, 15 Feb 44, sub: Detailed Pers Situation 
and Reqmts of SOS. Littlejohn Collection, sec. Ill, 
folder. Sundry Important Documents. (See Biblio- 
graphical Note.) 



THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 



ply is a function of command and that 
the impetus of supply is from rear to 
front; the implications of those maxims 
were illustrated in a wide variety of tac- 
tical situations. Fledgling quartermasters 
practiced requisitioning supplies and 
providing supplies and services. Prop- 
erty accountability, inventory proce- 
dures, and business management were 
stressed. Lectures emphasized that serv- 
ices and supply are only the broad foun- 
dation of logistical organization and ad- 
ministration in time of war and that de- 
tailed Quartermaster doctrine and proce- 
dures would have to evolve under actual 
battle conditions. 

This schooling proved to be enorm- 
ously valuable, largely because of a broad, 
rather than excessively specialized, ap- 
proach to the whole field of logistics. The 
small group of graduates had a surprising 
influence upon the whole American lo- 
gistical effort in World War II, especially 
during the emergency period, when the 
first classes of young Reserve officers were 
receiving their technical training. In ad- 
dition to the QMC officers lost by trans- 
fer to the Transportation Corps, to 
Ordnance, and to the Engineers, there 
was a tremendous demand for these 
trained, experienced officers by logistical 
staffs at all levels, and especially by the 
G-4 staffs of senior headquarters. The 
result was that too few of these officers 
were retained by the Quartermaster 
Corps. It was severely handicapped in its 
operations in the early phases of World 
War II and, for want of instructors, never 
achieved a completely satisfactory stand- 
ard of wartime officer training. 

In general, the policy and concepts 
which Pershing brought home from 
France provided the foundation for the 
staff principles and procedures to guide a 



future theater level quartermaster in the 
field. It was clear from AEF experience 
that this officer would be both a planner 
and an administrator, and the staff duties 
required of a theater chief quartermaster 
determined the structure of his personal 
office, the Office of the Chief Quarter- 
master (OCQM). Basically, the staff 
functions of OCQM were subdivided into 
three major elements— a planning and 
training section, a section to deal with 
both expendable and nonexpendable 
classes of supply, and a section to super- 
vise a variety of required services. 

By 1942 QMC doctrine provided that, 
as a special staff officer, a chief quarter- 
master performed six basic missions for 
his commander. First, he advised the the- 
ater commander and his general and spe- 
cial staffs on the Quartermaster mission. 
He determined requirements for and 
procured, stored, issued, and "docu- 
mented," or accounted for, QMC sup- 
plies. He recommended the procure- 
ment and the employment of Quarter- 
master units and tfieir allocation to com- 
mands. He supervised the operations of 
all Quartermaster units not assigned or 
attached to commands. Throughout the 
theater he also supervised Quartermaster 
troop training. Lastly, the chief quarter- 
master planned for and supervised serv- 
ice to the line, providing troops with such 
services as bakeries, shoe repair, graves 
registration, gasoline supply, and baths.* 

By the end of 1942 the Quartermaster 
Corps had lost several important func- 
tions to other technical services. Con- 
struction activities and administration of 
Army-controlled real estate had been 
transferred to the Engineers, automo- 
tive procurement and maintenance to 



* FM 101-5, Staff Officer's Field Manual, 1942. 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the Ordnance Department, and trans- 
portation service to the newly revived 
Transportation Corps. A movement to 
create a general depot service to handle 
all Army storage gained some momen- 
tum but finally failed. OCQM, which 
had lost some of its storage functions, 
regained this Army-wide responsibility, 
but what was more important, re- 
covered the experienced, Quartermaster- 
trained personnel who operated the 
warehouses. In general, the loss of func- 
tions to other services caused the QMC 
far less concern than the accompanying 
losses of personnel; there was still plenty 
to be done, and all too few trained 
officers to do it. 

During World War II the Quarter- 
master Corps was one of seven technical 
services, each of which designed, pro- 
cured, and issued various items of sup- 
plies and equipment.'' Thus a complete 
general depot would have seven techni- 
cal branches or sections, besides an ad- 
ministrative or operating section. In 
time of war, other technical services per- 
formed certain functions for, or in close 
co-operation with, the QMC. Briefly, the 
Chemical Warfare Service provided 
chemicals in which clothing was dipped 
to give protection against vesicant gases. 
Chemical Warfare field units, organized 
to decontaminate clothing and personnel 
in the event of gas warfare, actually sup- 
plemented the laundry and bath services 
of the Quartermaster Corps. Gasoline 
pipelines and bulk, storage plants were 
built and operated by the Engineers, as 
were cold storage facilities and ice plants. 
Fire fighting and fire safety, of vital im- 



portance at Quartermaster gasoline 
dumps, Avere Engineer responsibilities at 
all Army installations. The Medical De- 
partment advised the QMC on the ade- 
quacy of clothing, footgear, and rations. 
Its veterinary officers inspected all food, 
especially meat. The QMC provided hos- 
pitals with special laundry facilities and 
a special hospital ration. Beginning in 
August 1943, the Transportation Corps 
assumed technical supervision over all 
motor transport units, although for more 
than a year many of them continued to 
bear the Quartermaster designation. 
These functions are merely those of par- 
ticular significance to the QMC. 

In addition to the technical services, 
some of the administrative services also 
performed functions vital to Quarter- 
master operations. The Provost Marshal 
administered all prisoner of war (POW) 
camps, and reported requirements for 
POW rations to the QMC. The QMC 
provided a special ration for POW's, and 
furnished them with clothing and equip- 
ment. Beginning in December 1944, the 
Provost Marshal in the ETO organized 
the Military Labor Service, which there- 
after administered and disciplined POW 
labor units employed by all the technical 
services. 

The Adjutant General's Department 
supplied publications to the entire 
Army.'' All requisitioning and issue of 
all types of supplies were based upon 
authorizations of various types that were 



^ The seven services were Chemical Warfare, Engi- 
neer, Medical, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, 
and Transportation. 



" In retrospect, it must be said that The Ad- 
jutant General's Office was conspicuously inefficient 
in this function. General Somei-vell's famous cri- 
tique of the Communications Zone of the European 
theater contained a rueful admission that his own 
AGO "has fallen down badly in filling requisitions 
for publications. . . ." Memo, Somervell for Lee, 
24 Jan 45, p. 21. SHAEF G-4 319.1, Rpts, Gen 
Somervell, 1945, I. 



THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 



contained in "publications"— a catchall 
designation for Army regulations, tables, 
orders, circulars, and other aiuhoritative 
papers of the Army. The Adjutant Gen- 
eral issued, printed, and distributed such 
publications to all units and offices that 
required the information. Thus he was 
the agent who transmitted vital in- 
formation from the zone of interior to 
theater level chiefs of technical services. 
An additional function of The Adjutant 
General Avas maintenance of a command- 
wide personnel statistics reporting sys- 
tem, completely independent of the 
strength-for-rations reports received by 
the Quartermaster Service and therefore 
immensely valuable for comparison and 
confirmation purposes. 

The Army's logistical system ^vas con- 
sidered basic in the Mediterranean and 
European theaters; it supplied all com- 
mon items to the Army Air Forces and 
the Navy. Both these services main- 
tained their own requisitioning chan- 
nels and depot systems, but requisi- 
tioned their supplies of common items 
from Army soiuxes within the theater. 
The only major exceptions were vehicle 
fuels and lubricants, common items pro- 
cured in accordance with joint specifica- 
tions, but administered on the com- 
iiined (Allied) level along with charac- 
teristic Air Forces and Navy types of 
petroleiun products. 

Army supplies were classified luider 
an elaborate system of categories, and 
subcategories. All items were segre- 
gated, first of all, according to the tech- 
nical service responsible for their pro- 
cinement. By 1942 War Department 
manuals listed over 70,000 separate 
Quartermaster items. In one respect this 
statistic may be somewhat misleading; the 
list included each separate spare part for 
each major piece of equipment, and each 



size of each type of clothing was also a 
separate item. Such an elaborate system 
of nomenclature was essential for accur- 
ate stock control, and gives an idea of the 
scope of the documentation problem. 

A second system of supply categories, 
designated by five Roman numerals, was 
also Army-wide. In this system, all Class 
I items were Quartermaster, and there 
were no QM Class V items. The inter- 
mediate numbers were common to all 
the technical services. A short discussion 
of this system will reveal many of the 
problems and procedures of field quar- 
termasters. 

Class I supplies were articles supplied 
automatically without requisition at the 
troop level, since in theory they were 
consumed daily and universally at a 
steady rate. They were known collec- 
tively as subsistence, which embraced 
food and forage, and the unit of measure- 
ment was the ration, defined as the allow- 
ance of food for one day for one man or 
one animal. The two main categories 
were field and operational rations. Field 
rations were prepared in unit kitchens; 
they consisted of the A ration, including 
perishable foods, and the B ration, com- 
prising nonperishable foods only. Under 
favorable conditions, kitchen-prepared 
food could be brought forward to troops 
actually in combat, so that such troops 
often received the B ration and some- 
times the A ration. Troops heavily en- 
gaged in combat, on remote posts, or 
moving rapidly, as in a beach assault or 
in pursuit, normally ate operational ra- 
tions. All of these could be eaten cold in 
an emergency. ' In addition the QMC 



' For a detailed account of the development and 
content of the various operational rations, see 
Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, 
Supply, and Services, I, 178-89. 



8 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



provided hospital, convalescent, and 
various types of travel rations. 

Class I supply also involved some 
purely administrative problems. Soap 
and cigarettes sold in post exchanges 
were PX items, but the same items packed 
with operational rations and issued gratis 
to the troops were regarded as Class I, 
and so was anything else issued on the 
same basis. Decisions as to what units 
would receive gratis issues ^vere usu- 
ally made on the army group level and 
fluctuated according to the intensity of 
combat. 

Class II Quartermaster items consisted 
of clothing and individual equipment, 
organizational equipment, expendable 
materials for cleaning and preserving, 
office equipment and supplies, special 
purpose vehicles, and spare and mainte- 
nance parts. British "accommodation 
stores," such as cots, furniture, and bar- 
racks items provided by the British for 
American troops arriving in the United 
Kingdom, saved shipping space and re- 
placed the Class II post, camp, and sta- 
tion allowances familiar to U.S. troops. 
War Department tables, known as Tables 
of Equipment (T/E's), established the 
authorized quantities of Class II supplies. 
These tables, listing thousands of sep- 
arate items, changed periodically, but 
the circulars annoimcing the modifica- 
tions rarely reached the field in time to 
affect the Chief Quartermaster's supply 
situation. It should be borne in mind 
that Class II included most items of Army 
supply. The trucks driven by the soldiers 
of a QM truck company were Class II 
Ordnance items, and the gas mask each 
man carried was a Class II Chemical War- 
fare item. Likewise, the field rang^es in 
the mess of any unit were Class II QMC 
items. In a somewhat different category 
were mobile bakeries, mobile laundries. 



and heavy sewing machines used to re- 
pair tents— each a Class II QMC item is- 
sued only to a special Quartermaster imit. 
Class III items included solid and liq- 
uid fuels, the latter commonly referred 
to during World War II as POL (petrol, 
oil, and lubricants— a British designa- 
tion). Strategic reserves of both solid and 
liquid fuels were controlled during 
World War II by combined committees 
representing the British and American 
Armies, Navies, Air services, and civilian 
as[encies, and American administration 
^vas through an Area Petroleum Board. 
This applied to both Mediterranean and 
European theaters. The Quartermaster 
Corps controlled solid fuel destined for 
the U.S. Army. Aviation gasoline and 
aircraft lubricants (designated Class 
IIIA) were controlled by the Army Air 
Forces, but normally were stored in Quar- 
termaster POL depots. Since the trans- 
portation, storage, and distribution of 
vehicle Siasoline involved several tech- 
nical services, requirements and alloca- 
tions were controlled by G-4's at lower 
levels, culminating in the POL Division 
of Supreme Headquarters. The Trans- 
portation Corps was responsible for the 
Army aspects of POL movement by ocean 
tankers, and controlled the barges, rail- 
road tank cars, and tanker trucks which 
moved bulk gasoline in overseas theaters. 
The Engineers were responsible for bulk 
storage and movement by pipeline, and 
gasoline normally came under Quarter- 
master Corps control at decanting points, 
where it was poured into drums or jerri- 
cans or released in bulk to gasoline supply 
companies and stored in POL depots. 
The QMC was charged with computing 
Army requirements for Class III supplies 
(except Class IIIA) . Beginning late in 
1942 Area Petroleum Offices extended 
their control over many of these activi- 



THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 



ties, ultimately organizing an Area Petro- 
leum Service in each theater— in effect an 
eighth technical service. But the QMC 
continued to compute Army Class III 
requirements and to deliver packaged 
POL to the troop units. 

Class IV items were, in general, those 
for which no fixed quantity of issue was 
established. Thus, Class II items of cloth- 
ing and equipment were reclassified Class 
IV when sold for cash to officers, Red 
Cross workers, or others entitled to buy 
them. Warehouse equipment, medals 
and decorations, and certain combat 
items, such as waterproof weapon covers, 
issued for a specific operation, were also 
in this category. Post exchange supplies 
were originally placed in Class IV, but 
events soon demonstrated the need for a 
separate category, although this was not 
sanctioned by Army regulations.*' The 
distinction between Class II and Class IV 
Quartermaster items was never com- 
pletely clarified, and they were normally 
grouped together and handled by one 
subsection of the Quartermaster organi- 
zation. 

Class V, munitions and chemicals, did 
not include any Quartermaster items. 
Nevertheless, Quartermaster officers had 
to keep requirements for these items con- 
stantly in mind. In combat, they norm- 
ally had overriding priorities. For exam- 
ple, a ship with a mixed cargo including 
ammunition would normally be routed 
to the point where the ammunition was 
needed and other cargo would also be un- 
loaded at that point, whether or not this 



* Before World War II, post exchange articles, 
luxury goods, and alcoholic beverages were assigned 
to no supply category. In the European theater, 
supply planning demanded specific levels of supply 
for post exchange items, so they were treated as a 
separate, additional category in continental QM 
depots. 



was convenient for the responsible tech- 
nical service. Delivery of ammunition to 
units in combat presented a somewhat 
similar problem: the unit's organic ve- 
hicles were available to deliver Quar- 
termaster supplies only after the daily 
ammunition requirement had been met. 

The basic unit for all supply planning 
was the day of supply, normally sub- 
divided by technical service and class of 
supplies. One day of QM Class I supply 
for a given unit would be one ration for 
each man of that unit. The reserves of 
various categories maintained for a unit 
in the depots, expressed in days of supply, 
were commonly referred to as the level 
of supply. This was a simple and con- 
venient method of referring to the large 
and complicated assortments of supplies 
and equipment required to support and 
maintain a major command. Levels of 
supply for overseas theaters were estab- 
lished by the War Department. The day- 
of-supply concept emphasized that re- 
serves of various items should be assem- 
bled in the correct proportions, or at least 
in proportions believed to be correct in 
the light of all available information. 
Since this was a form of forecasting— a 
process always subject to error— rates of 
consumption and maintenance require- 
ments for supplies and equipment always 
differed somewhat from anticipated fig- 
ures. Stocks were then considered "out 
of balance," a condition to be corrected 
by changing the proportions in subse- 
quent requisitions. 

Theater level requirements based on 
actual experience, especially combat ex- 
perience, were always of great interest to 
zone of interior planning agencies, which 
were attempting to forecast long-range 
national requirements for the entire war 
effort. From the zone of interior point 



10 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



of view, everything shipped to a theater, 
including cargoes lost at sea, was a factor 
in that theater's rate of consumption. 
Planners normally authorized a large 
basic reserve for a new theater, 90 days of 
supply or more, to offset the unknown 
supply factors. For a mature theater, in 
which rates of consumption had become 
known, they sometimes reduced basic re- 
serves to 30 days or less. An operating re- 
serve, which might be compared to a re- 
volving fund, was aiuhorized in addition 
to the basic reserve. It Avas provided to 
compensate for fluctuations in the actual 
arrival of requisitions. In the European 
theater a normal requisition covered a 
30-day period, and the operating reserve 
was also 30 days of supply. Therefore the 
basic reserve would remain intact even if 
the requisitioned items arrived on the last 
day of the requisition period. The basic 
reserve plus the operating reserve consti- 
tuted the maximum level of supply. Offi- 
cials in the zone of interior carefully 
examined theater requisitions to ensure 
that they did not exceed the maximum 
authorized levels. One important vari- 
able deserves special mention: fluctua- 
tions in the manpower of a theater 
changed the rate of consumption, and 
therefore the levels of supply, even 
though the tonnage of supplies on hand 
remained constant. Thus a rapidly ex- 
panding theater might exhibit the ap- 
parent paradox of more and more sup- 
plies constituting a lower and lower 
level of supply. 

The level of supply was a convenient 
planning concept, but could not be used 
directly in actual Quartermaster opera- 
tions. Storage and distribution activities 
required definite data on each specific 
item, as did requisitions at all levels. 
Tables for converting days of supply into 



tons or cubic feet of various items were 
officially designated as Quartermaster 
Supply Reference Data, and unofficially 
known as the "bible" of the Quarter- 
master Corps. They were widely distri- 
buted and constantly revised, and quali- 
fied QMC officers were expected to 
luiderstand them.^ 

To get his days of supply into the hands 
of the troops in the right amount at the 
proper place and time, the Chief Quar- 
termaster had to do far more than simply 
fill out an order blank. Only by careful 
planning could he foresee varying re- 
quirements for each of 70,000 items. He 
had to check his inventories against tac- 
tical requirements and expected strength 
fluctuations, and he had to take into ac- 
coimt anticipated rather than actual de- 
liveries. For smooth functioning of stor- 
age and distribution no detail of weights 
or cubages could be overlooked. Storage 
and distribution techniques demanded a 
mass of detailed information which he 
had to refine continuously and dissemi- 
nate throughout the command. He had to 
know what local products were available, 
and how local goods compared with those 
purchased at home. How salvage could 
increase his inventories was another 
factor in determining his requisitions. 
Above all, a sound education in business 
management was an essential. 

The reference data tables already men- 
tioned were indispensable tools for 
breaking down the Chief Quartermast- 
er's theater-wide mission into accurate 
portions of manageable size, so that each 



"Office of the Theater Chief Quartermaster, 
Theater Service Forces, European Theater, Opera- 
tional Study 2, Quartermaster Supply Reference 
Data, 1 November 1945 (hereafter cited as OTCQM 
TSFET Operational Study 2.) (See Bibliographical 
Note.) 



THE HERITAGE AND MISSION OF FIELD QUARTERMASTERS 11 



could be delegated to a Quartermaster 
unit capable of accomplishing it. For ex- 
ample, it miglit seem logical to charge a 
major depot with the support of a spe- 
cific field army and of the air force and 
service troops in the area immediately 
behind it. Actually, the strength of an 
army fluctuated and the military popu- 
lation of a rear area was even more vari- 
able, so that a mission stated in such 
terms \vould be very vague and success 
in accomplishing it correspondingly diffi- 
cult. By contrast, a mission of 15 days' 
wholesale support for 350,000 men, plus 
30 days' retail support for 40,000 men, 
would also be only an approximation of 
the support actually required for the 
same troops, but it represented a definite 
and achievable objective. Using the ref- 
erence data, the Chief Quartermaster's 
inspectors could tell very quickly Avhether 
such an objective was being met, and if 
not what remedial action was necessary. 
Meanwhile the Chief Quartermaster was 
personally responsible that the sum of all 
the depot missions was adequate to meet 
the variable support requirements of the 
theater as a whole. 

A major element, causing variations 
in the strength of the theater or of the 
field armies, was the movement of divi- 
sions. Since each division required both 
tactical and logistical support, such a 
movement usually involved considerably 
more personnel than the Table of Or- 
ganization (T/O) strength of the divi- 
sion itself. The term division slice ex- 
presses the relationship between the total 
theater strength (minus air forces) and 
the number of divisions supported, and 
represents the total number of men in- 
volved in maintaining a division in the 
field. The normal European theater 
division slice of 40,000 men was made up 



as follows: 15,000 men in the division it- 
self, 15,000 corps and army troops, and 
10,000 communications zone troops. 
Quartermaster supply planning was usu- 
ally based upon the requirements for a 
division slice, rather than merely on re- 
quirements for the division itself.^" 

Possibly this discussion of the require- 
ments, duties, and procedures of overseas 
quartermasters has overemphasized ad- 
ministrative detail. Familiarity with ad- 
ministration was by no means enough 
for a quartermaster to bring to his job. 
A knowledge of combat organization and 
tactics, and particularly the logistical im- 
plications of changes in tactics, was also 
required, especially at higher levels. This 
was something that could hardly be in- 
culcated by Quartermaster schooling 
alone. A good quartermaster was also a 
soldier, for no one else could have the in- 
sight necessary to provide satisfactory 
support for soldiers in combat. The 
operations he was called upon to support 
were military operations, and despite 
some resemblances to procedures em- 
ployed in the world of business, their 
nature and purpose were quite different. 
A trained Quartermaster officer, con- 
templating the growing trend toward 
mechanizaton in warfare between 1932 
and 1942, as exemplified in Japanese suc- 
cesses against China, Italy's adventures 
in Africa, and Germany's domination of 
Europe, could see that the new mobile 



'" (1) Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support 
of the Armies, Volume I, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953), 
PP- 299-300. (2) Col. Creswell G. Blakeney, ed., 
Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 11 
August 1942 to 30 November 1945 (Naples, Italy: 
G. Montanino, 1945), pp. 476-78. The latter source 
indicates that in the Mediterranean area a division 
slice was computed as 45,000 men and 6,000 
vehicles. 



12 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



warfare brought with it a whole new 
category of support problems. Moreover, 
it appeared that thus far the new weapons 
had won victories principally against op- 
ponents of inferior strength, technology, 
or organization. All the evidence indi- 
cated that the basic problems of support 
for mobile forces in protracted opera- 
tions had been evaded rather than solved. 
Nevertheless, the U.S. Army joined the 
parade, shifting from a horse-drawn 
square division to a motorized triangular 
one, developing its own version of ar- 
mored and mechanized cavalry units, and 
organizing new support imits capable, at 
least in theory, of keeping up with the 
new tempo of Avarfare. Even before the 
United States was plunged into the war, 
the new organization was designed to 
conquer the German Army— or at least 
a force of strikingly similar strength, mo- 
bility, and fire power. There was every 
indication that the contest would be a 
long one, and the American commanders 
plainly stated their intention of waging 
it unrelentingly, without those protracted 
pauses tliat had marked earlier wars, and 
had also occurred repeatedly since 1939. 
The quartermasters who were called 
upon to support campaigns of this type 
realized that they were entering largely 
uncharted territory. 

Basically, mechanization for continen- 
tal warfare resulted in increased depth 
of deployment, accompanied by much 



greater mobility within the zone of de- 
ployment. For quartermasters, mechani- 
zation meant that depots must be kept 
full on longer lines of communication, 
while the need for POL woidd increase 
until it became more than half of all QM 
supply. These conditions demanded 
greater flexibility in command and staff 
arrangements, particularly witliin admin- 
istrative commands, than had those which 
had applied to the shallow fronts of 
World War I. Larger tactical groupings 
for mechanized warfare complicated the 
command lines and technical channels 
between pipeline and spigot quartermast- 
ers. With time a precious commodity, 
resources often could not be used as 
planned. 

Mechanization also placed unprece- 
dented demands on the wise use of skilled 
manpower, and to meet these demands 
merchants and tradesmen were mustered 
for Quartermaster duty, in addition to 
the traditional truck drivers and steve- 
dores, as were yoimg executives of large 
business corporations, who were rightly 
considered promising officer material. 
Because the new conditions of modern 
warfare had to be experienced before 
they could be fully met, a common theme 
developed for Quartermaster planners 
and administrators in their formative 
period in the United Kingdom and in 
North Africa: orientation and improvisa- 
tion. 



CHAPTER II 



Early Activities in the United Kingdom 
and North Africa 



First Plans for the United Kingdom 

The Quartermaster effort against the 
Rome-Berlin Axis had a modest begin- 
ning in the critical late spring of 1941, 
when American staff planners assumed 
that, in the event of a declaration of war, 
small groimd and air forces would be es- 
tablislied in the United Kingdom as soon 
as possible/ On 19 May 1911 the War 
Department created a Special Army Ob- 
server Group (SPOBS), under Maj. Gen. 
James E. Chaney, in London. Chancy in- 
cluded a Quartermaster Section in his 
group consisting of one officer, Lt. Col. 
William H. Middleswart. 

Born in West Virginia on 19 October 
1894, Middleswart was one year over the 
age limit which the Chief of Staff, United 
States Army, had set for an overseas ob- 
server, but he was nonetheless well quali- 
fied for his staff position. His Regular 
Army commission in the Quartermaster 



^ Accounts of strategic and logistical planning for 
the invasion of the European continent are to be 
found in the following volumes of the series 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II: 
Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans 
and Preparations (Washington, 1950); Maurice 
Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for 
Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942 (Washington, 1953); 
Richard M. Leighton and Robert VJ . Coakley, 
Global Logistics and Strategy, 1940-1943 (Wash- 
ington, 1955); Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I. 



Corps dated back to i July 1920. For the 
next four years he was in the Office of 
The Quartermaster General and there- 
after served five years in field assignments, 
including one tour of duty in the Philip- 
pines. After two years of schooling at the 
Army Industrial College and Army War 
College between 1936 and 1938, and a year 
of staff work in the Panama Canal Zone, 
Middleswart in July 1940 became the of- 
ficer in charge of the Procurement Divi- 
sion of the Philadelphia Quartermaster 
Depot. His call for duty with Chaney 
came in May 1941, and he immediately 
left for England. 

In the absence of any formal alliance 
Middleswart's work at first was explora- 
tory and confined to the field of planning. 
He exchanged points of view with his 
British colleagues, becoming more and 
more familiar with the problems of coali- 
tion warfare. Making arrangements for 
the provision of solid fuels to the U.S. 
troops arriving in Iceland, as British 
forces there were withdrawn for duty 
elsewhere, was Middleswart's first prac- 
tical assignment in SPOBS. - 

After numerous conferences Middle- 
swart also made plans to provide Quar- 



^ Ltr, Middleswart to Capt James C. Bagg, Hist 
Br OCQM ETOUSA, 13 Jan 44. Middleswart 
Papers. (See Bibliographical Note.) 



14 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



termaster support for U.S. troops in the 
United Kingdom. In mid-September 
1941 he submitted hjs initial recommen- 
dations. Current plans contemplated a 
force of 107,000 men, including 87,000 
ground and air troops and 20,000 service 
troops, to be distributed under a theater 
commander within four tactical subcom- 
mands, plus a base area. Though no date 
had been set for their arrival, the combat 
troops were to be located as follows: in 
Northern Ireland, 30,000 ground troops; 
in eastern England, a bomber force of 
15,000 air troops and 21,000 ground 
troops; in Scotland, 13,500 combat troops; 
and in a small area, thirty-five miles 
southeast of London, a reinforced regi- 
ment of 7,500 men. 

Within the Midlands base area, the 
British were prepared to let Americans 
select Quartermaster sites and to provide 
them with all the necessary facilities in 
full operating condition. Middleswart's 
major objective was to set up an establish- 
ment requiring little assistance from the 
British. But it Avas impossible for the 
Americans to ignore local conditions. 
The common interest demanded that the 
independence of American facilities in 
base and troop concentration areas should 
not be attained through wasteful duplica- 
tion of facilities. Supplies had to enter 
British ports and move over British rail- 
ways and highways. Depots were to be 
located in existing British buildings as far 
as practicable. Services which had to be 
performed close to the troops, such as 
laundry and bread baking, were to be 
handled by the British insofar as their 
resources permitted. 

Middleswart's storage plan provided 
that half of the contemplated supply 
stockage would be located in areas con- 
tiguous to each of the four troop concen- 



trations, with the remaining portion de- 
posited in two general base areas. He 
suggested to Chaney that two general de- 
pots be operated at first, one in Northern 
Ireland, the other in the Midlands. 
These depots were designed to maintain 
100,000 men on the full scale of clothing 
and equipage. Standard American ra- 
tions were to be furnished automatically 
from the United States. To support the 
regiment near London the plan recom- 
mended activation of a provisional bat- 
talion to provide all Quartermaster serv- 
ices. For area defense against parachute 
attack, a very real threat in 1941, Quar- 
termaster troops should be armed with 
rifles instead of pistols, and they should 
have trucks equipped for driving during 
blackout conditions. 

Middleswart further submitted esti- 
mates for Quartermaster troops on a scale 
commensurate Avith a 100,000-man force. 
He recommended that all QMC units 
and half of the 30-day supply level for 
depots leave the United States at least a 
fortnight before the departure of the 
combat troops. He wanted to have ac- 
commodations and depots set up and in 
operation when they debarked. The ad- 
vantage of such arrangements was empha- 
sized over and over in subsequent plan- 
ning of troop priorities and shipping 
schedules, usually with only limited suc- 
cess." 

With the entry of the United States 
into the war, time became tiie most im- 
portant element in Quartermaster plans, 
which for the moment contemplated 
support to one army corps, deployed in 



=> (i) Min, Mtgs, SPOBS-QMG [British] War Office 
.Sul)coni, QMB House, London, 3d Mtg, 10 Jul 41, 
4th Mtg, 31 Jul 41. USFET AG 337. (2) Rpt, Pro- 
posals on Base Area, U.S. Force in England, an. 7 
(QM). Mtg, War Office, 18 Sep 41. USFET AG 381. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



15 



defensive positions. Without a staff, 
Middleswart could not handle the ad- 
ministrative details for supporting a 
corps. Organizationally, SPOBS was en- 
larged and redesignated Headquarters, 
United States Army Forces, British Isles 
(USAFBI), on 8 January 1942, witli 
Chaney retaining command. Until 24 
May 1942, Chaney had no separate admin- 
istrative command, and Middleswart con- 
tinued as a staff planner. Between 8 
January and late May 1942, a Quarter- 
master staff was gradually assembled. 
Maj. Thomas J. Wells, an infantry officer 
borrowed from the office of the London 
Military Attache, Maj. Frazier E. Mack- 
intosh, a Regular LI.S. Army officer re- 
called from retirement in London, Capt. 
John L. Horner, quartermaster of the 
American Embassy, and 1st Lt. Louis G. 
Zinnecker comprised the new Quarter- 
master Section. On 1 May, Lt. Col. Rob- 
ert F. Carter, Maj. James E. Poore, Jr., 
Capt. Leo H. McKinnon, Capt. Burton 
Koffler, Capt. Gordon P. Weber, and a 
score of enlisted men arrived from the 
United States. 

Early in January 1942, Middleswart 
received word that V Corps headquarters 
was to be activated in Northern Ireland 
and would assume command of Magnet 
Force, consisting of an armored division 
and three infantry divisions, plus appro- 
priate service troops, and totaling ap- 
proximately 105,000 men. On 7 January 
Chaney informed the War Department of 
his quartermaster needs for the first con- 
voy: POL and solid fuels were not to be 
sent; tentage, gasoline cans, and 35,000 
C rations were needed, but not cotton 
clothing. Chaney also asked that the 
troops wear old-type steel helmets. The 
QMC's new type somewhat resembled 
the German helmet, and training British 



troops to recognize it would require 
time.* 

Actually, Magnet Force was scaled 
down by the War Department before V 
Corps headquarters assembled. Middle- 
swart meanwhile had arranged with the 
British for debarking the four divisions, 
for billeting and feeding V Corps, and for 
furnishing the divisions with motor ve- 
hicles, British accommodation stores, and 
other essentials pending the unloading 
and movement of supplies which suppos- 
edly were to be shipped with the troops 
or were to follow them soon. Wells and 
Zinnecker had gone to Northern Ireland 
to receive the first arrivals. On 26 Janu- 
ary Chaney and Middleswart were at Bel- 
fast to greet about 4,000 men of the 34th 
Infantry Division. Disappointment over 
the decrease in Magnet Force soon faded 
as War Department plans for deploying 
U.S. air power in the United Kingdom 
began to unfold. On 20 February Brig. 
Gen. Ira C. Eaker arranged with the 
Royal Air Force to provide quartermaster 
support for units of the U.S. Eighth Air 
Force. On 1 1 May, the first airmen ar- 
rived in England. 

The War Department had announced 
as early as January 1942 that a 60-day level 
of supply, except ammunition, would be 
sent to the United Kingdom for U.S. 
troops stationed there. Local procure- 
ment was definitely encouraged. Except 
for Middleswart's exploratory planning 
before 7 December 1941, little or nothing 
had been accomplished for the reception 
and storage of the 60-day levels. In fact, 
the prevailing concept continued that 
the Americans would decentralize their 
operations out of two base areas some- 



* Rad, Chaney to AGWAR, 7 Jan 42. USFET 
AG 400. 



16 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



where in the Midlands and Northern 
Ireland. Every day of delay in granting 
Chaney a definite logistical plan hobbled 
Quartermaster operations, which after 
February were almost solely confined to 
Northern Ireland Base Command, a pro- 
visional organization. 

To assist V Corps and its new base 
command Middleswart, with an expand- 
ing staff after i May, made definite as- 
signments among his personnel. Poore 
headed plans and procedures; Carter 
worked on subsistence; Mackintosh han- 
dled administration; and Weber, Koffler, 
and McKinnon attended to matters of 
supply. In their early planning the staflF 
attempted to draw upon the experience 
of British quartermasters supporting the 
Eighth Army in Libya and Egypt. 

The first arrivals in V Corps had to 
use overtaxed British resources. Though 
Middleswart had continuously requested 
the inclusion of Quartermaster troops in 
V Corps and its provisional base com- 
mand, none came, and the USAFBI 
Quartermaster Section could provide 
only a series of "how to do it yourself" 
circidars to sho^v tactical imits how to 
arrange for their own retail services. For 
these circulars, Middleswart gathered in- 
formation from many British war agen- 
cies including the War Office, the Air 
Ministry, and the Ministries of Aircraft 
Production, Supply, Food, Petroleum, 
Wool Control, and also the Navy Army 
Air Force Institute (NAAFI), a service 
organization corresponding to the U.S. 
Army Exchange Service. 

For two months after its arrival, V 
Corps subsisted on the regular British 
ration. The troops found this ration 
rather scanty, and disliked it because of 
its high proportion of starches, cabbage, 
and mutton. On 16 February 1942, Mid- 



dleswart had prescribed the American 
field ration, type A, for V Corps, but this 
coidd not be issued until sufficient stocks 
had arrived, a depot system had been 
established, and balanced stocks were 
assured. Supplies did not arrive on sched- 
ule, and to fill the gap a modified British- 
American ration was developed. All items 
in it were of British origin, but it was a 
somewhat more generous ration, and bet- 
ter suited to American tastes. Slowly it 
came into use, and meanwhile V Corps 
kept one B ration and two C rations in 
reserve, rotating their use on occasions.' 
In Class II and III supply planning 
Middleswart had to improvise at every 
step. Clothing and individual equip- 
ment on the current Table of Allow- 
ances (T/BA 21)— a revision appeared in 
Jime 1942— included items that had been 
designed to meet the needs of either 
trench warfare or peacetime garrison 
duty. Under the old T/BA initial issues 
supposedly were to eliminate many of 
Middleswart's clothing problems. Month- 
ly requisitions were designed to bring 
clothing levels to the sixty-day mark 
quickly and planners believed that this 
woidd see V Corps through its formative 
period. But the level was unrealistic. 
Also, requisitions stayed on file in The 
Quartermaster General's Office as Ger- 
man submarines, now operating off the 
coastal shelf of the United States instead 
of in Eiuopean waters, forced the Allies 
to husband their precious shipping. Dis- 
cussing his clothing problems with the 
British, Middleswart proposed that ship- 



'■ (1) Ltr, CG NIBC to CG ETOUSA, 15 Jun 42. 
USFET AG 430. (2) Cir 28, Hq USAFBl', 29 May 
42. (3) Memo, Maj Charles G. Herman for Carter, 
28 Aug 42, sub: British-American Rations. Hist Br 
OQMG. (4) Rations are discussed in detail in 
Chapter XV, below. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



17 



ping space could be conserved throiigli a 
system of exchange. In brief, Americans 
would release items manufactured in the 
United States to British troops in the 
Pacific; British-made goods would replace 
items for Americans in the United King- 
dom. For many weeks the exchange 
could not be arranged and direct local 
procurement remained the only poten- 
tial source for Class II supplies. 

Gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, and lu- 
bricants, all in cans, were to be dispensed 
to American users when they landed. Ve- 
hicles would be serviced at British Army 
gasoline pimips. This remained the Class 
III pattern imtil mid-June 1942 when 
wholesale issue of POL ^vas arranged for 
V Corps. Americans foimd Ireland's 
winter imexpectedly severe and Middle- 
swart arranged to increase the daily allot- 
ment of coal, charged to reverse lend- 
lease. As spring wore on, Middleswart 
de\'eloped more and more standing oper- 
ating procedures for V Corps use in com- 
pleting arrangements for local services 
sucii as laimdry, shoe repair, and dry 
cleaning. But, as troop strength increased 
and American thoughts turned from 
Northern Ireland to England itself as a 
billeting place, it was evident that tact- 
ical commanders would soon require a 
regularly constituted SOS." 

From January until late May 1942, 
Middleswart's planning for V Corps re- 
flected Allied concern with Britain's im- 



" (1) Ltr cited n. 2, above. (2) Cir 8, H(| 
I'SAFBI, if) Feb 42, reprinted in F.udora R. Rich 
ardson and Sherman .Allen, Quartermaster Supply 
in the Eur<)f>ean Theater of Operations in World 
War II. \ol. II, Subsistence, app. XI (QM School, 
Catnp Lee, \'a., 1948). (Hereafter cited as QAf 
Suj)pl\ in ETO.) (3) Memo G, Hq NIBC, Quart'cr- 
masler Standard Opeiating Procedure, 8 June 1912. 
I'oore I'apers. (See Bibliographical Note.) (4) Cir 
29, Hq L'S.AFBI, 29 May 42. 



mediate defense, even though his Ameri- 
can superiors soon learned that Quarter- 
master requirements for the United 
Kingdom would have to be recast in a 
new mold. By the end of April, President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt and his military 
advisers, working with comparable Brit- 
ish officers, had decided that the most 
effective move against the Axis Powers 
was an invasion of northwest Europe, 
using the United Kingdom as a base of 
operations. The two governments or- 
dered the new strategy, dubbed Bolero, 
executed at the earliest practicable mo- 
ment. Anglo-American planners pro- 
jected Bolero in three phases: concentra- 
tion of resources in the United Kingdom, 
a cross-Channel attack, and preparations 
at beachheads prior to a continental ad- 
vance. An intensified air attack on the 
Continent would accompany all three 
phases. To avoid confusion planners 
subsequently narrowed the meaning of 
Bolero to a purely logistical concept, and 
applied the code name Roundup to the 
tactical phase of the operation." 

As Bolero planning progressed, a 
theater level command to administer its 
American aspects, calling for a new com- 
mander with a redefined and specific 
mission, became a definite necessity. It 
was generally anticipated that, follow- 
ing the War Department's lead, the new 
commander would subdixide his com- 
mand into three operational commands, 
consisting of a groimd force, an air force, 
and a service of supply. On 3 May 1942 
the Commanding (ieneral, Army Service 
Forces (then SOS), Lt. Gen. Brehon B. 
Somervell, discussed his SOS concept for 



■^ (1) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning, 1941- 
1942, chs. V, VIII, X. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Sup- 
port, vol. I, chs. I, IL 



18 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the new theater with Maj. Gen. John C. 
H. Lee, the War Department's candidate 
to command all supply services in the 
new theater. Foin- days later The Quar- 
termaster General had been briefed on 
Lee's SOS plans, and Lee, in turn, re- 
ceived the name of Brig. Gen. Robert 
M. Littlejohn as Chief, Quartermaster 
Service. 

By 14 May Lee had talked with Little- 
john, described his draft SOS directive, 
and suggested the assembly of a staff for 
overseas duty at the earliest practicable 
date. As May faded into June, Little- 
john estimated his personnel require- 
ments, closely following what he had 
been able to learn of Lee's tentative 
plan. He hoped to keep Middleswart as 
a key planner. Carefully selecting his 
staff, Littlejohn submitted modest per- 
sonnel requests. In terms of numbers 
they reflected his imderstanding that he 
would initially play a planner's role, 
that he would be responsible for a staff 
to handle his portion of a general depot 
service, to be operated under G-4, that 
the depot system would expand in an 
orderly fashion out of a general base 
area, and that a transportation service, 
also under G-4, was not to be a Quarter- 
master function. War Department man- 
power agencies had the same impression. 

Meanwhile, under USAFBI, on 24 
May Chaney established an SOS with 
Lee commanding. Before the end of 
May, armed with instructions from the 
War Department, Lee met with the 
Bolero Combined Committee in Lon- 
don, submitting his requirements for 
U.S. troops either in or about to arrive 
in the United Kingdom. Using Lee's 
estimates, the British planners published 
their first edition of Bolero Key Plans. 
It was a bulletin of instructions, not a 



directive, to British agencies enabling 
them to co-operate with Americans in re- 
ceiving, accommodating, and maintain- 
ing U.S. troops. Unfortunately, until 
mid-Jime, most SOS special staff officers 
did not see the first Key Plan. This all- 
important document pinned down pre- 
vious rough estimates and stated that 
1,049,000 troops and their supplies would 
arrive, before D-day, tentatively set for 1 
April 1943. It gave Lee a manpower ceil- 
ing of 277,000 SOS troops, including a 
Quartermaster quota of 53,226 men. Of 
this quota, 1,386 officers and 11,822 en- 
listed men, as casuals or non-Table-of- 
Organization personnel, were scheduled 
for headquarters and depot duty. Quar- 
termaster personnel would be 19 per- 
cent of the SOS troop strength, or 5.1 
percent of Bolero's total troop basis, a 
proportion reminiscent of World War I 
experience. 

On 5 June 1942 there were 36,178 
troops in the United Kingdom, of whom 
4,305 were in England, the remainder in 
Northern Ireland. Three days later the 
European Theater of Operations, U.S. 
Army (ETOUSA), was formally estab- 
lished, and the same day, 8 June 1942, 
atop a "cracker box" in Number 1, Great 
Cumberland Place, London, in the pres- 
ence of one other Quartermaster officer, 
Lt. Col. Michael H. Zwicker, Littlejohn 
activated the Office of the Chief Quar- 
termaster, ETOUSA. Within five days, 
while retaining his planning role in 
Headquarters, ETO, Littlejohn also be- 
came Chief, Quartermaster Service, a 
planning as well as an operating post 
within General Lee's SOS ETOUSA. 
Thus, when Maj. Gen. D wight D. Eisen- 
hower succeeded Chaney as theater com- 
mander on 24 June both a Chief Quar- 
termaster, ETO, and a Chief, Quarter- 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



19 



master Service, SOS, were in existence. 
Both positions were in the hands of one 
general officer.* The history of the Quar- 
termaster support mission in the United 
Kingdom and later in northwest Europe 
is largely bound to the fortunes of SOS 
ETOUSA and its successive commands. 
Likewise, the Quartermaster story is 
linked to the officer, who, in June 1942, 
was named to head it. 

Organizing for BOLERO 

In the formative period of the ETO 
staff it would be an error to regard the 
Chief Quartermaster (CQM) solely in 
terms of his official position and diuies. 
The personality of a particular incum- 
bent, QMC field doctrine and tradition 
or lack of them, and the los^istical en- 
vironment of a major military operation 
constantly interact to make the func- 
tioning staff officer different from the 
legal one. Born in October 1890, a South 
Carolinian, General Littlejohn, although 
more than fifty years of age, was notably 
self-reliant, active, and robust. Graduat- 
ing from West Point in 1912, he served 
two years in the Cavalry before being 
detailed to the Quartermaster Corps. In 
France, duty with Brig. Gen. Harry L. 
Rogers gave him quartermaster experi- 
ence at the highest field level. Over the 
next two decades his assignments at de- 
pots, service schools, on the War Depart- 



^ (1) Memo, Littlejohn for Lee, 19 May 42, sub: 
Pers; Memos, Littlejohn for TAG, 20 and 23 May 42, 
sub: Pers OCQM SOS; Memo, Littlejohn for Col 
James C. Longino, Rear Ech OCQM, 30 May 42, 
sub: Pers; Ltr, Littlejohn to Longino, 5 Jun 42. All 
in Littlejohn Collection, sec. IL (2) Ruppenthal, 
Logistical Support, vol. L ch. L (3) Even before 
Littlejohn's appointment was officially announced 
he had urged Eisenhower to approve this dual ar- 
rangement and the latter had agreed. Interv with 
Littlejohn, 5 Nov 59. 



ment General Staff, in the Philippines, 
and in the OQMG provided further 
rich experience. His interests and tastes 
were logistical in the broadest sense and 
were not narrowly confined to quarter- 
master detail. His last assignment before 
going overseas was as Chief, Clothing 
and Equipage Division, OQMG. 

In the interwar period Littlejohn had 
spent considerable time in analyzing 
records and compiling dry-as-dust details 
about "pounds per man per day" and 
"square feet per man per day," weight and 
cube factors — all of which lay at the very 
basis of any logistical system. Though 
Quartermaster Corps archives provided 
little information, he gathered valuable 
data concerning World War I through 
correspondence and interviews with Lt. 
Gen. John L. DeWitt, former G-4, First 
Army, AEF, and later The Quarter- 
master General, and with Col. Martin 
C. Shallenberger, aide to General Persh- 
ing.'' When he arrived in London on 4 
June 1942, Littlejohn's first task, apart 
from drafting Bolero Quartermaster 
plans, was to set up the Office of the 
Chief Quartermaster and prepare to de- 
ploy QMC personnel throughout an is- 
land base with particular attention to 
southwestern England. 

In beginning work, Littlejohn took 
note of Lee's early dictum that SOS 
should figure computations broadly and 
boldly, always bearing in mind the big 
picture of ultimate objectives. Fortu- 
nately, to get a focus on any size of picture 
Lee might have had in mind, Littlejohn 
frequently consulted one of the rare 
copies, which he later discovered was the 
only one around the London headquar- 
ters, of Pershing's SOS record. Since few 

* (i) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 25. 
(2) Interv with Littlejohn, 10 Aug 55. 



20 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



SOS officers had had war experience, the 
volume became a valuable reference 
tool. As Littlejohn reflected on his or- 
ganization, his gaze was fixed on the 
troop basis for Quartermaster Service, 
including recommendations for the pro- 
curement and the use of authorized T/O 
units and their immediate allotment to 
projected SOS subcommands. His esti- 
mate of manpower needed for such 
units, known as T/O personnel, like the 
one for casual or non-T/O personnel 
who would man SOS agencies and staffs, 
was at best an educated guess. It was still 
not clear just ho^v the support command 
was to operate. 

Before leaving the United States 
Littlejohn had examined Lee's staff 
chart. It reassigned two important func- 
tions traditionally performed by the 
Quartermaster. A general depot service 
and a motor transport service would 
operate under G-4, SOS, direction. On 
23 May, The Adjutant General, War De- 
partment, had approved Littlejohn's re- 
quest for 21 officers as non-T/O person- 
nel to staff the Quartermaster Section of 
a general depot. As casuals, 9 senior offi- 
cers were earmarked as division chiefs in 
OCQM. But Littlejohn persuaded Lee 
to allot him 25 more officers Avith the 
understanding that a total of 58 officers 
would be present in OCQM by the end 
of 1942. Littlejohn also asked The Quar- 
termaster General, Maj. Gen. Edmund 
B. Gregory, to allot OCQM 50 junior 
officers for future service. Such a reserve 
would remain in training in the United 
States, becoming conversant with sal- 
vage problems, protective clothing, and 
storage and distribution procedures of 
Class I and II supply. Consistent with 
his idea of working directly ^vith Greg- 
ory's office during this formative period," 



Littlejohn left Col. James C. Longino in 
charge of OCQM's rear echelon in the 
United States in order to expedite per- 
sonnel and supply. Though 44 officers 
were to have sailed with Littlejohn on 
28 May, only one QMC officer actually 
accompanied him.^° 

Believing that his hand-picked staff 
would soon arrive, Littlejohn, who never 
hesitated to get his concepts down on 
paper, drafted his first organizational 
chart for OCQM on 8 June. Colonel 
Middleswart, designated as Deputy Chief 
Quartermaster, joined the special staff 
of Headquarters, ETOUSA, where stra- 
tegic planning for Roundup was central- 
ized. The OCQM itself was to comprise 
ten divisions, organized mainly on the 
commodity lines recently discarded by 
the OQMG in Washington.'^ There was 
considerable justification for such con- 
servatism in an overseas headquarters, 
where quartermasters attempting to op- 
erate in an unfamiliar environment ob- 
tained helpful guidance from familiar 
organizational concepts. The overseas or- 
ganization was well suited to its original 
mission, and included one purely func- 
tional subagency, the Procurement Divi- 
sion, which reflected the actualities of 
operating in a friendly foreign coimtry. 
Under those circumstances, local pro- 
curement was largely a matter of inter- 
TOvernmental liaison, and not a ftinc- 
tion that could be handled conveniently 
on a commodity basis. 



'" Ltr, Littlejohn to Longino, 5 Jun 42. Littlejohn 
Collection, sec. IL 

" (1) OCQM office Order 1, 8 Jun 42. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. I, item 5. (See Bibliographical 
Note.) (2) The ten divisions were: Executive, Ac- 
counts, Plans and Control, Subsistence, Supply, 
Fuel, Salvage, Procurement, Personnel, and Graves 
Registration. (3) Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: 
Organization, Supply, and Services, vol. L ch. i. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



21 



After 5 June as he talked more and 
more with General Lee, Littlejohn 
found that the depot plan which had 
been conceived in Washington in mid- 
May was outmoded. To avoid unneces- 
sary construction, a large number ot 
small depots already in existence in Eng- 
land Avould have to be operated in sup- 
port of scattered troop stations, each of 
which would also require a post quar- 
termaster system. Littlejohn had envis- 
aged large quartermaster installations ai 
major ports, but these were already too 
crowded. In addition, Lee stressed the 
point that the British would soon re- 
lease depot facilities throughout southern 
EnQ;land, not in the Midlands, in ac- 
cordance with an elaborate plan worked 
out by Maj. Gen. Richard M. Wooten, 
the British Deputy Quartermaster Gen- 
eral (Liaison). This news nullified 
Littlejohn's current personnel requests 
in the Office of The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral. The speed with which Lee wanted 
his American staff to accept the British 
offers, plus the fact that SOS had only a 
vague notion as to where Bolero's 
troops were to be concentrated, sug- 
gested that Littlejohn's manpower esti- 
mates were obsolete before he placed 
them on paper. 

Working under these adverse condi- 
tions, Littlejohn instructed his ftitine 
staff to initiate a series of studies on 
sundry quartermaster topics and to con- 
tact British ministries on retail matters. 
On 12 June he personally drafted 
Bolero's detailed supply requirements. 
This was a difficult assignment. He had 
few QMC manuals at hand to work out 
basic logistical data and he therefore 
started to develop his own body of 
Bolero manuals. Other staff studies esti- 
mated the local scene, noting all the 



prospective changes which OCQM would 
have to make in taking over quarter- 
master responsibilities from the British. 
Another study concerned the depot sys- 
tem or lack of it. 

Confronted with a need for more and 
more studies and with no one to make 
them, Littlejohn looked to the where- 
abouts of his missing staff. With Lee's 
approval, he rushed off a message to 
Gregory for 400 officers, all of whom 
were expected before the end of 1942. 
This request was in addition to the fifty- 
eight officers whom Lee had already ap- 
proved.^- Summarizing his reactions to 
the local scene after a fortnight in Eng- 
land, Littlejohn wrote to the Deputy 
Quartermaster General: 

... If one were given the job of organiz- 
ing, from the Quartermaster angle, one half 
of the continental United States and at the 
same time creating a central office parallel- 
ing to a large extent the Office of the Quar- 
termaster General a picture of the problem 
here would become apparent. . . . In a way 
I was rather unfortunate in not having 
moved into the European problem at the 
time the other individuals did. As a matter 
of fact, I believe I was the last to come on 
the scene. This forced me to depart from 
the United States without a thorough study 
of the personnel and supply problems and 
without having set up the necessary plans 
to make this end operate. . . . The minute 
I arrived various echelons expected me to 
start going full blast on every class of sup- 
plies in every direction. Actually, for a pe- 
riod of a week Zwicker and I had one desk 
between us, no typewriters and no clerks. 
. . . Within a few days I hope to dig into 
and straighten out the flow of supplies. 
Theoretically the troops are expected to 



^^ (1) Interv with Littlejohn, lo Aug 55. (2) 
Memo, Littlejohn for Lee, 9 Jun 42; Msg, Little- 
john for Lee to AGWAR, 9 Jun 42. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. 1, items 6, 8. 



22 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



come into this area with sixty or ninety 
days supply. From this end the claim is that 
these supplies are not arriving.!^ 

On 17 June Littlejohn submitted the 
first of a series of Bolero Quartermaster 
plans to G-4, SOS." In brief, its features 
of necessity appeared to be three-fourths 
British, one-quarter American, but the 
plan's tone suggested Quartermaster 
Service would become more American 
after the inauguration of a sound depot 
system. As he pondered over his supply 
plan, talked repeatedly to British col- 
leagues, made trips to the field, and read 
the initial offerings of his arriving staff 
officers, Littlejohn's views on what he 
needed began to change and jell. His de- 
sire to apply his talents to the new and 
unorganized SOS, and the need to move 
sharply away from dependence on the 
British in an area where the Americans 
had not anticipated any large-scale troop 
concentrations, were powerful incentives 
in moving him to repeat his argument to 
General Gregory on the urgent need for 
400 more QMC officers. The situation was 
aggravated by the fact that the Motor 
Transport Service and the General Depot 
Service in the ETO, neither of which was 
any longer connected with the Quarter- 
master Corps, had arranged to have con- 
siderable numbers of QMC officers as- 
signed to them. Feeling that his previous 
requests for personnel had been evaded, 
Littlejohn on 26 June wrote to The Quar- 
termaster General with some indigna- 
tion: 

I have been on the receiving end of the 
most definite "run-around" that I have ever 



"Ltr, Littlejohn to Brig Gen Henry D. Munnick- 
huysen, OQMG, 12 Jun 42. Littlejohn Reading File, 
vol. I, item 14. 

"Memo. Littlejohn for ACofS G-4 SOS, 17 Jun 
42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. I, item 21. 



known. ... In discussing personnel mat- 
ters with the other services I find an eager- 
ness on the part of the Home Office to solve 
the problems in the field. Take the Ord- 
nance Department for example. The Chief 
Ordnance Officer here was furnished with 
every man he asked for by name. He ar- 
rives with his staff consisting of all regular 
Colonels and all graduates of the Military 
Academy. I arrive with one Lieut. Colonel 
of the Regular Army and two Colonels of 
the Regular Army assigned but not arrived 
. . . All I ask for is my fair share of the 
good personnel— no more, no less. . . .^^ 

At the end of June there were fifty 
casual QMC officers in the United King- 
dom but only seventeen were in OCQM; 
the remainder had been attached to ex- 
panding SOS staffs. During the same 
period the arrival of T/O personnel in 
Quartermaster units was so slow that ar- 
ranging for their reception was a very 
minor burden on the OCQM. At the end 
of June there were only seven such units 
in the British Isles, comprising less than 
500 officers and men, mostly occupied in 
supporting the Eighth Air Force. The 
Personnel Division of the OCQM was 
preoccupied with plans for the somewhat 
distant future. It had computed the Quar- 
termaster quota of 53,266 men for Bolero 
already mentioned, basing this require- 
ment upon the following detailed break- 
down: ^^ 

Type of Number of Total 

Unit Units Strength 

Total _163 53,226 

Service Battalion ~T4 13,188 

Bakery Company 16 2,608 

Graves Registration Com- 
pany 7 945 

Shoe and Textile Repair 

Company (M) 19 3,838 

'■ Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 26 Jun 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. I, item 33. 
'"QA/ Supply in ETO, VIII, 2. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



23 



Type of Number of Total 

Unit Units Strength 

Salvage Depot, Headquar- 
ters 2 414 

Laundry Company 24 7,224 

Sterilization and Bath Com- 
pany 8 1,352 

Salvage Collecting Com- 
pany 6 1,230 

Railhead Company 35 4,060 

Depot Supply Company . . 24 3,648 

Sales Commissary Company 3 615 

Refrigeration Company . . 2 476 

Refrigeration Company 

(M) 3 420 

QM Service, Headquarters 

and Depot Overhead 13,208 

In the Slimmer of 1942 Littlejohn ap- 
peared to be planning and operating in 
a vaciumi, at times working unwittingly 
at cross-pinposes with the shifting designs 
of logisticians and authors of grand 
strategy. He told his officers that his sins 
would be sins of commission, not omis- 
sion. He wrote frequent, brief memo- 
randums to his staff, giving them one dis- 
tinct impression — that OCQM could ex- 
pect, by running hard, just barely to stay 
in place. Without warning, G-4, SOS, on 
14 July 1942 emphasized his point with 
the announcement that the Quarter- 
master Bolero quota was being cut to 
39,000 men. No explanations were given. 
Immediately, OCQM drafted tables for 
Lee, indicating how Bolero and Round- 
up might suffer if the 14,000-man reduc- 
tion took place. At the time Lee was 
sympathetic, but only President Roose- 
velt and his service advisers could ex- 
plain all cuts in Bolero. Throughout 
July the slowing down of troop arrivals 
discouraged OCQM. Early in August 
2,438 Quartermaster troops in sixteen 
T/O imits were present for a force of 



82,000 men,^^ a ratio which Littlejohn 
considered far from ideal. 

One aspect of the personnel problem 
showed a slight improvement. Competi- 
tion for high-caliber supply personnel, 
as casuals, had intensified during the 
early simimer of 1942 as Lee pushed his 
G-4 operation of the General Depot 
Service and the Motor Transport Serv- 
ice. A portion of this manpower was re- 
turned to the Quartermaster Service after 
Lee, following the lead of the War De- 
partment, abolished the General Depot 
Service in mid-August.^* In the process 
Col. Turner R. Sharp, former Chief, 
General Depot Service, became a divi- 
sion chief within OCQM. But another 
need for additional personnel arose 
when Headquarters, SOS ETOUSA, 
moved to Cheltenham, a spa about ninety 
miles west of London. Two Quartermas- 
ter staffs came into existence, forcing 
Littlejohn to keep his deputy, Colonel 
Middleswart, on the staff of ETOUSA, 
and to separate the efforts of his Bolero 
and Roundup planners.^'' 

By mid-July the organizational changes 
within SOS once again upset the OCQM's 
manpower estimates. Now its plans had 
to cover support of from fifteen to eight- 
een divisional areas and four corps areas 
as well as provide for items of common 
use for the expanding Eighth Air Force. 



" (1) Memo, G-4 SOS for OCQM, 14 Jul 42; 
QM Station List, 7 Aug 42. Both in Hist Br OQMG. 
(2) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning, 1941- 
1942, ch. XIV. 

i^SOS ETOUSA Circular 13, 19 August 1942, 
failed to mention a General Depot Service, al- 
though other subagencies of SOS were listed. Cir- 
cular 38, 27 October 1942, formally abolished the 
General Depot Service and assigned the CQM as 
supervisor of general depots. 

'» (1) GO 19. Hq ETOUSA, 20 Jul 42. (2) Ltr, 
Littlejohn to Middleswart, 28 Jul 42. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. II, item 65. 



24 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



A minimum of fifteen general depots 
each with a Quartermaster Section had 
to be manned. Each divisional area, post, 
camp, and station required a post quar- 
termaster system. Behind each corps area 
a base section was needed, calling for ad- 
ditional Quartermaster staffs and opera- 
tional units. Four projected base sections 
would contain a total of fifty quarter- 
master branch depots and within each 
base section, districts would be marked 
off, requiring still more quartermasters 
in each SOS subdivision. At station hos- 
pitals a full Quartermaster complement 
was needed.-" 

The dimensions of this projected or- 
ganization moved Littlejohn to revise 
upward every troop basis. Still preferring 
to solve his problems through the in- 
formal and unofficial QMC channel 
rather than effect solutions along com- 
mand lines, Littlejohn addressed several 
more messages to Gregory. Gregory's 
reply of lo July said in part "... I hope 
you will consider in your requirements 
for officers the whole Quartermaster pic- 
ture. We have to supply Quartermasters 
to imits all over the world. ... I hope 
you will not ask for more officers than 
you need or faster than you need them. 
As I understand, we have sent you about 
151 and are about to send you 150 more 
at once. This is a much higher propor- 
tion than is present in any other theater. 
. . ." This sort of answer was quite un- 
satisfactory to Littlejohn, and he tried 
to get Gregory to visit the European 
theater.-^ Failing in this, the Chief Quar- 



'^ Memo, Littlejohn for Longino, 15 Jul 42; Ltr, 
Littlejohn to Gregory through Lee, 31 Jul 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. II, items 52, 71. 

'"Ltr, Littlejohn to Lee for Somervell, 31 Jul 42; 
Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 26 Jul 42; Ltr, Gregory 
to Littlejohn, 10 Jul 42; Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 



termaster then redefined his manpower 
requirements as an official demand, and 
forwarded it to Somervell through Lee, 
who approved it without change on 31 
July 1942. Quartermaster needs for casual 
personnel as of i April 1943 were sum- 
marized as 875 officers, 30 warrant officers, 
and 2,178 enlisted men, or a total of 3,083. 
OCQM itself required a strength of 315, 
including 100 officers." 

When OCQM moved to Cheltenham 
between 9 and 13 July 1942, it consisted 
of 13 officers, 21 enlisted men, and 16 
British civilians, the latter performing 
clerical work. Operating OCQM on a 12- 
to 18-hour schedule after 22 July, Little- 
john, who had held Sunday morning con- 
ferences in London, now initiated a series 
of daily seminars among his key officers, 
opened a map room, and posted the quar- 
termaster situation daily. As officers 
joined OCQM, they assembled essential 
planning data in notebooks. An initial 
assignment called for a geographic survey 
of their island base. Fledgling quarter- 
masters, many fresh from the world of 
trade, studied standard logistical works 
dating back to World War L Lists of 
British supply nomenclature and glos- 
saries were compiled so that ignorance 
would not result in an uneconomical use 
of shipping space. For example, garbage 
cans were "dust bins" in Great Britain, 
and requirements and requisitions had 
to be so labeled. It was weeks before War 
Department circulars and technical 

14 Jul 42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. 1\, items 
36, 40, 59, 70. 

^(1) Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory through Lee, 31 
Jun 42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. H, item 71. 
(2) The planning basis was 20 QMC officers per 
divisional area, 12 per general depot, and 5 per 
branch depot, plus an overhead for administration. 
Memo, Littlejohn for Longino, 15 Jul 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. H, item 52. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



25 



literature reached Cheltenham or Lon- 
don, and OCQM was therefore forced to 
formulate its own supply procedines and 
circulate them throughout the command. 
Despite his practice of keeping in close 
touch with his subordinates' progress, 
Littlejohn continued to have difficulty 
getting the right man for the right job. 
Initially, many so-called experts reached 
Cheltenham, but not enough with the 
proper qualifications. Several requested 
reassignment after struggling with their 
imfamiliar duties. On the other hand 
career quartermasters grasped the scope 
of their responsibilities. As Executive 
Officer, OCQM, Col. Beny Rosaler, who 
was in his element in straightening out 
administrative confusion, supervised the 
\vork of briefing the command on Quar- 
termaster procedure. In supply matters. 
Col. Turner R. Sharp (Depot Division, 
OCQM), Col. Oliver E. Cound (Stock 
Control Division, OCQM) and Lt. Col. 
Robert F. Carter (SidDsistence Division, 
OCQM) indoctrinated reservists. Col. 
Aloysius M. Brimibaugh, chief of the 
Supply Division, himself a Reserve offi- 
cer but one ^vith much experience, also 
contributed to on-the-job training. The 
Cermans lui^vittingly made their con- 
tribution. Many a young Quartermaster 
lieutenant fresh from Camp Lee, work- 
ing late at night on requisitions or other 
essential staff actions, ^vas rudely inter- 
rupted by the mgent need to take shelter. 
This type of realism accelerated training 
and produced capable officers just when 
they \vere re(|uired. Inasmuch as senior 
quartermasters were needed for depot 
commands, Littlejohn demanded that 
junior grade officers assume more of the 
staff load. -2 



(i) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, chs. 23, 



By 8 August, 68 officers and 86 enlisted 
men were in OCQM and Littlejohn felt 
better about his staff situation. Now 
OCQM comprised 14 divisions broken 
down into 59 branches. The Executive 
Division administered the OCQM; the 
others developed policy and procedure, 
planned projects, and supervised or co- 
ordinated operations throughout an ex- 
panding SOS. The need to supervise and 
control increasingly decentralized field 
operations accounted for most of the or- 
ganizational changes in the OCQM made 
since June 1942. To tie OCQM closer to- 
gether, Littlejohn required each officer 
and branch to make a continuous study 
of Quartermaster reference data. Early 
in September eight studies on this sub- 
ject ^vere prepared and distributed.-* 

An early study grew out of Quar- 
termaster troop planning for a "type" 
force of 600,000 men.-' In mid-August 
ETOUSA asked OCQM to estimate the 
support for a type force containing a 
GHQ, 2 armies of 6 corps, and 16 divi- 

44, 4(1. (2) Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 8 Jul 42. 
Littlejohn Reading File, vol. IL item 21. (3) Crit- 
ical comments by Maj Gen A. T. McNaniara, 
TQMG, dated 12 Feb 60. Hist Br OQMG. 

^ (1) Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 26 Jul 42; Min, 
OCQM Mtg of All niv Chiefs OCQM and Depot 
Comdrs and All QMSO's, 31 Jul 42. Littlejohn Read- 
ing File, vol. II, items 59, 72. (2) QM Supply in 
ETO, I, app. VIII. (3) QM Service Reference Data, 
vols. I— VIII, September— October 1942 (repeatedly 
revised and republished; see Bibliographical Note). 
Hist Br OQMG. 

^"' "Type" forces were a mobilization planning con- 
cept developed by Army Ground Forces (AGF) to 
ensure that various types of ground combat troops 
were activated in the pro])er proportions. Typical 
armies and corps would have fixed amounts of 
organic army and corps troops. The concept was 
never intended for operational planning, and was 
abandoned by AGF in the 1943 Troop Basis. Sec 
Kent Roberts CJreenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and 
Bell I. Wiley, Tlie Orfi^anization of Crmtnd Cninbat 
Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD 
WAR II (Washington, 1947), pp. 279-80. 



26 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



sions, of which 7 would be triangular 
infantry divisions, 2 mechanized, 5 
armored, and 2 airborne. In retrospect, 
such planning was academic during this 
period of watchful waiting. But in re- 
sponse to a G-4 request of 30 August, 
OCQM related its troop planning and 
supply support to a new concept. To meet 
the G-4 request calling for support to a 
type army of 300,000 men, OCQM hit 
upon the idea of tabidating troop imits 
by Tables of Organization and Equip- 
ment and aggregate strength in proper 
balance to give maximimr support to a 
type corps.-*' Known later as the 100,000- 
man plan, this was an important study in 
percentages and proportions. Continu- 
ously refined and revised to meet foresee- 
able conditions within a typical force im- 
der conditions consistent with current 
plans, this tabulation gave staffs at all 
eciielons a simple arithmetical device for 
fitting a Quartermaster troop basis into 
any multiple of 100,000 men. As a refer- 
ence tool, often used together with sup- 
ply data, the 100,000-man plan was im- 
mediately accepted and applied by com- 
manders to future operations.-^ 

The OCQM structure at the beginning 
of August reflected its growing activities 
within an expanding SOS. On 20 July 
1942 Lee had announced SOS regional 
subcommands wherein Quartermaster 
operations were to be decentralized. The 
projected four corps build-up was ap- 
proaching reality as Headquarters, II 
Corps, now arriving in England, joined 



'^ (1) Memo, Middleswart for Col Stadtman, War 
Plans Sec ETO, i6 Aug .(2. Poore Papers. (2) Ltrs, 
OCQM to G-4 SOS, 17 Jul 42 and 30 Aug 42. Hist 
Br OQMG. 

^^ After World War II similar data were incor- 
porated in staff officers' basic field manuals and 
service school courses. See FM 101-10, .August 1949. 



Headquarters, V Corps, late in July. With 
boundaries that closely corresponded to 
those of British administrative com- 
mands, four SOS base sections with re- 
spective headquarters were constituted 
as follows: Northern Ireland Base Com- 
mand (Belfast); Western Base Section 
(Chester); Eastern Base Section (Wat- 
ford); and Southern Base Section (Wil- 
ton).-** (Map 1) On 7 August, five general 
depots, Burton-on-Trent, Thatcham, 
Ashchurch, Bristol, and Taunton, and 
three Quartermaster branch depots, 
Wellingborough, Kettering, and Lon- 
don, were in operation. ^^ 

As Chief Quartermaster, Littlejohn 
had authority to supervise and control 
technical matters at all echelons. Within 
the base sections and their respective 
depots, he recommended the selection 
and placement of Quartermaster supply 
officers. On the other hand each base sec- 
tion commander controlled operations 
within his own area. Thus, as in World 
War I, the overlapping of command and 
staff responsibilities produced a host of 
nagging conflicts as depot commanders, 
usually colonels of the Quartermaster 
Corps, were caught between OCQM's in- 
structions and the base section com- 
mander's orders. One early conflict was 
of a serious nature, involving the primary 
mission of the Quartermaster Corps. The 
case in point developed in Southern Base 
Section where the commander. Col. 
Charles O. Thrasher, set arbitrary levels 
of supply. To OCQM, this action made 
the retail aspect of supply of greater 
importance than the wholesale, and 
threatened the whole carefully organized 



^^ Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 84-87. 
^ For a complete list of United Kingdom depots, 
see below, Chapter IX, Table 6. 



UNITED KINGDOM BASE SECTIONS 
1942-1943 



Base Section boundaries 
District boundaries 



Northern Irelond became 
district of Western Base, 
9 Dec 42, was reactivated 
as a bose section, 3 Oct 43. 




First organized as London 
Base Command (21 Mar 43), 
ftiis areo was redesignated 
Central Base Section, 
29 Apr 43. 



a> 



s::::^ 




MAP 1 



28 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



stock control system with anarchy. If con- 
tinued, the policy would mean the de- 
pletion of stocks being stored for com- 
bat at a future date, and deprive the 
OCQM of control over theater supply 
levels. Littlejohn had the policy set aside 
through Lee's personal intervention, 
and, working through the base section 
Quartermaster staff, retained the au- 
thority to set supply levels.^" 

An early depot problem concerned 
British civilian workers. For Bolero, 
Littlejohn estimated he would need 12,- 
000 local citizens to fill clerical, super- 
visory, and laboring jobs. Because British 
laws were complex and little imderstood 
by Americans, civilians were paid and ad- 
ministered by the British War Office. Yet 
problems over wages, hours, quarters, and 
conditions of employment soon devel- 
oped and Littlejohn himself often at- 
tended to them. In July 1942 the Chief 
Quartermaster personally satisfied the 
charwomen of Cheltenham with a tea 
and milk ration, and they stayed on his 
payroll. On occasion, he was able to at- 
tract and hold competent civilians by the 
simple device of giving them the sub- 
stantial U.S. ration. ^^ 

Quartermaster depot and service 
troops created additional problems. The 



™ Ltr. Littlejohn to Lee, 1 1 Feb 43, sub: Relation- 
ship Between Base Sec Comds and Supply Installa- 
tions. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. X, item 13. 

''I (1) QM Supply m ETO, VIII, 55-57. (2) Interv 
with Littlejohn, 22 Mar 56. (3) Memo, Hq Comdt 
SOS for Post QM SOS Hq, 27 Jan 43. USFET AG 
403. (4) In August 1942, Lt. Col. Samuel M. Mac- 
Guire was added to the OCQM staff as British 
Liaison Officer (Labor). He remained with the U.S. 
headquarters in the British Isles until May 1945, 
and was invaluable in solving problems involving 
procurement, retention, and payment of British 
civilians. Ltr, CQM to CG ETO, 16 Jun 45, sub: 
Recommendation for Award of Legion of Merit, 
Littlejohn Reading File, vol. XXXVII, item 49. 



first to arrive were only partially trained 
in their specialties. Moreover, when they 
should have been at their regular duties 
they had to spend precious time master- 
ing their weapons and the manual of 
arms, since this type of training was also 
incomplete. Littlejohn deplored the per- 
sonnel policy which assigned to the QMC 
enlisted men who were predominantly of 
inferior intelligence or deficient educa- 
tion, or both. Many of the depot com- 
panies and practically all of the service 
battalions were composed of Negro troops 
with low Army General Classification 
Test (AGCT) grades. These units were 
not representative of Negroes in the 
Army. Irrespective of color, the number 
of men who were suitable candidates for 
commissions, or even for promotion to 
noncommissioned officers was far too low. 
Under hastily trained and completely in- 
experienced yoimg white officers, these 
troops did not perform very well. The 
British attitude of friendly tolerance to- 
ward all foreigners, regardless of color, 
surprised both officers and men, and 
probably aggravated the disciplinary 
problems in these units. Littlejohn was 
inclined to lay most of the blame on the 
officers. He was alarmed to find that even 
many of the service battalion com- 
manders were lacking in field experience, 
and he had to devote considerable time 
to finding competent commanders for 
these imits — something which, he be- 
lieved, should have been accomplished 
before they were allowed to leave the 
zone of interior.^- 



•^ (1) Rpt, OCQM to OQMG for ASF, 12 May 43, 
sub: .Answer to Questions Submitted to CQM. Hist 
Br OQMG. (2) Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: 
Organization, Supply, and Services, II, i68ff. (3) 
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (New 
York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 194S), p. 58. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



29 



In addition to coping constantly with 
problems of decentralization, by mid- 
July 1942 Littlejohn found himself co- 
ordinating more and more jobs with ad- 
jacent and higher headquarters. In Lon- 
don, he kept in touch with Middleswart's 
planning on Roundup. At Chelten- 
ham he worked with SOS boards of offi- 
cers, committees, schools, and other chiefs 
of services. After its creation in late June, 
Littlejohn became the Quartermaster 
member on the SOS General Purchasing 
Board, which set policy for matters of 
local procurement. The board operated 
under a General Pinchasing Agent, Col. 
Douglas B. Mackeachie. Littlejohn desig- 
nated Col. Wayne R. Allen, who had had 
rich administrative experience as an exe- 
cutive of Los Angeles County, California, 
as his procurement specialist, and later 
appointed him to the board. Allen's job 
called for the highest type of co-ordina- 
tion, and upon Mackeachie's return to 
the United States for an important as- 
signment at the end of 1942, Allen be- 
came the General Purchasing Agent, a 
promotion which suggests the high qual- 
ity of his quartermaster activities. ^^ 

Centralization of control touched 
other Quartermaster fields. Littlejohn's 
Class III responsibilities made him a 
member of the Area Petroleum Board, 
headed by an area POL officer, whose job 
it was to co-ordinate requirements 
among the Army, Navy, and Air Forces 
within the theater. To train all sorts of 
technical specialists, SOS opened the 



^ (i) Memo, DCofS WD for CG USAFBI, i6 May 
42, sub: Establishment of a Gen Pinch Bd in the 
British Isles for the European Area. USFET AG 
334. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 76-87. 
(3) First Report of the General Purchasing Board, 
Covering Operations to 1 September 1942. Hist Br 
OQMG. 



American School Center at Shrivenham, 
England. Littlejohn added a school 
course for cooks and bakers on 8 Septem- 
ber. Lack of instructors kept OCQM's 
initial contribution from extending to 
mess management and food service. 
These classes were begun later in the 
year, and Littlejohn also started field 
coinses for bakery platoons at Tid- 
worth.^** 

Having taken over the General Depot 
Service from G-4, SOS, OCQM acquired 
additional duties, when, on 19 August 
1942, it assumed control of the Army Ex- 
change Service, first of its planning ac- 
tivities, and later of its operations. In the 
summer of 1942 this was a logical arrange- 
ment because OCQM was far advanced 
in procuring local Army Exchange Serv- 
ice items, had depot facilities, and un- 
derstood issue problems. Lacking issue 
clerks, OCQM initially proposed to oper- 
ate a canteen service, combining the 
operational features of a sales commis- 
sary and a post exchange. On 30 August 
Littlejohn brought Col. Edmund N. 
Barnum and his former Army Exchange 
Service staff to Cheltenham, incorporated 
them as a division in OCQM, and 
planned to send mobile sales stores to 
troop stations. ^^ 

Mid-September found the Chief Quar- 
termaster hoping that he could devote 
more and more time to developing Lee's 
plans, turning details over to his division 
chiefs and leaving operations to base and 
depot quartermasters. Much of the or- 
ganizational confusion of the past sum- 
mer was subsiding. With emphasis on 



** (1) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 18, 
pp. 1-5; ch. 32, pp. 7-11. 

^ Ltr, Littlejohn to Barnum, 23 Aug 42; Memo 
Littlejohn for Barnum, 4 Sep 42. Littlejohn Read- 
ing File, vol. Ill, item 32; vol. V, item 6. 



30 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Bolero instead of Roundup, SOS was 
expanding rapidly and Littlejohn's col- 
leagues greatly respected the leading role 
he had played in its development. Mo- 
mentarily it appeared that his own days 
of orientation and improvisation were 
over. He had tried to eliminate defects in 
his organization, to create a body of 
Quartermaster literature to fit Bolero, 
and to keep his supply planning up to 
date.^*^ 

Supply Planning for BOLERO 

The authors of Bolero in spring 1942 
had made only a tentative and hurried 
investigation of the coinplex supply 
situation which faced OCQM. In the 
stimmer of 1942 the major problems of 
OCQM arose from a shortage of storage 
space and from the promise of a surplus 
of shipping which never materialized. 
To overcome these obstacles, consider- 
able spadework had to be done. Quar- 
termaster supply planning after 8 June 
1942 was closely meshed with that of 
other staffs at all levels, and influence 
did not always flow down from the upper 
staff levels to OCQM. Concurrence, often 
accompanied by correction of detail and 
by clarification of missions, came from 
Littlejohn's staff. With only a few of his 
division chiefs available, he presented his 
first supply plan to G-4, SOS, on 17 Jime 
1942. The plan suggests that he had care- 
fully reviewed the Bolero Key Plans and 
had attempted to keep abreast of Lee's 
planning.^^ 

OCQM's plan conformed to four esti- 
mates which Bolero planners had out- 



*'Memo, OCQM for G-4 SOS, 1 Aug 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. II, item 1. 

'''Memo, Littlejohn for ACofS G-4 SOS, 17 Jun 
42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. I, item 21. 



lined late in May.^® These included esti- 
mates of the troop basis for Bolero, the 
composition of the force including the 
priority in which the imits were to arrive, 
the tentative shipping schedule, and the 
preparations which the British and 
Americans were making for the reception 
and accommodation of Bolero troops 
and cargo. As bulletins of information, 
the Key Plans of summer, 1942 — a second 
edition would be published on 25 July 
to reflect the situation at the end of June 
1942— had anticipated remarkably well 
what OCQM's requirements and prob- 
lems of procurement, storage, and dis- 
tribution would be. 

Bolero operated on certain assinnp- 
tions which conditioned Littlejohn's first 
draft plan. As strategists had studied in- 
vasion plans for Roundup, they agreed 
that U.S. troops should take the right of 
the line, the British the left. Logically, 
this placed the Quartermaster build-up 
in southwestern England, or on the right 
of the line as Bolero troops faced the 
Continent. Although cargo and a few 
troops had begun to arrive in the ports 
on the Clyde and the Mersey, the earliest 
depots had been located inland from the 
Bristol Channel. It was logical to con- 
tinue and expand this deployment of 
men and their resources. Another as- 
sumption was based on the steady growth 
of the Quartermaster Service. The British 
were gradually to relinquish their re- 
sponsibilities toward the Americans as 
the latter demonstrated that they could 
handle their own services of supply. 
While he recognized that the build-up 
phase would be governed by tactical 
requirements, Littlejohn planned to con- 
centrate on Bolero first, and then on 



Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 59-87. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



31 



Roundup. This meant that during the 
summer of 1942, the Chief Quartermaster 
might have some time, at least, in which 
to develop first his organization, next his 
levels of supply, and then his services. ^^ 

In terms of his daily wholesale and 
retail mission, Littlejohn entered a vast 
unplanned area in summer 1942. His task 
was to reduce his requirements to a sim- 
ple expression, namely, poimds of quar- 
termaster supply per man per day. This 
was difficult to compute because the basic 
Tables of Organization and Equipment 
were often not available, were obsolete, 
were constantly being modified, or were 
little understood by his freshmen plan- 
ners. Ultimately, after hundreds of man- 
hours of tedious work, the estimated gross 
weight factor appeared to stand steady at 
27 pounds per man per day, broken down 
by class of supply as follows: food, 6 
poimds; clothing and equipment, soap, 
and other expendables, ii/^ pounds; 
petroleum products, 15 pounds; solid 
fuels, 31/2 pounds; and miscellaneous 
items such as post exchange and sales 
store items, 1 pound. By multiplying 
these factors by the number of men 
involved, Littlejohn could estimate his 
requirements for a day of supply for the 
entire Roundup force. 

Concurrently OCQM worked out its 
space requirements as the basis of a 
storage and distribution system. These 
factors expressed supply in terms of 
square feet per man per day. Then both 
space and weight factors were neatly 
arranged in tables, ready for the day 
when supplies rolled in. Late in June 
OCQM began to requisition its Class II 



and IV supply from the United States, 
to explore what could be procured lo- 
cally, and to locate storage.*" 

The scene of Quartermaster Bolero 
activities, the United Kingdom, was 3,200 
nautical miles from Littlejohn's port of 
embarkation, New York City. The round 
trip to Bristol Channel ports took forty 
days for troop ships and sixty days for 
cargo vessels. Class I and III supplies, 
automatically issued, and Class II and 
IV supplies, periodically requisitioned, 
would come from the New York Port 
of Embarkation (NYPE). The plan com- 
plied with earlier directives that every- 
thing possible would be procured locally, 
and it was in line with the War Depart- 
ment's announced objective of January 
1942 to set a 60-day level for Quartermas- 
ter supply in the United Kingdom. This 
objective was revised on 6 July to give 
zone of interior port commanders more 
authority in the logistical system, and to 
set up an additional 15-day cushion of 
supply. Littlejohn had anticipated this 
action, and his first Class II and IV requi- 
sitions, submitted early in July, recom- 
mended the higher levels. Littlejohn's 
memorandum expressed the hope that the 
75-day levels could be reached before the 
end of September. Thereafter, he pro- 
posed to maintain Bolero stocks by 
securing shipments for both maintenance 
and reserve in accordance with troop 
arrivals within a given month. *^ 

To bring Quartermaster supply to the 
prescribed levels, the War Department 
had delegated to the Army Service Forces 
authority to approve overseas allowances. 



'^ Ltr, Littlejohn to Lee, 14 Jul 42, sub: QM 
Storage Reqmts. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. II, 
item 43. 



^" (1) Interv with Littlejohn, 22 Mar 56. (2) Ltr, 
OCQM to CG SOS ETOUSA, 14 Jul 42, sub: QMC 
Warehousing Plan. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. II, 
item 43. 

" Memo cited n. 37, above. 



32 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



name the ports of embarkation, place rep- 
resentatives of ASF and of each technical 
service at the New York Port of Embarka- 
tion, provide shipping, and announce 
policy for port commanders.*- The New 
York port commander, with clearer au- 
thority after 6 July, controlled the flow 
of Quartermaster supply, effected auto- 
matic issue, filled requisitions, and rec- 
ommended through ASF to OQMG the 
minimum reserves to be held at the port 
and amounts to be stocked in inland 
depots. The NYPE commander also con- 
trolled scarce shipping, edited requisi- 
tions, and served as a link between Little- 
john's staff and Gregory's office. 

In the United Kingdom OCQM 
effected distribution by co-ordination 
with SOS transportation agencies. Early 
in its history, OCQM insisted that mani- 
fests reach its officers in advance so that, 
where practicable, storage and distribu- 
tion could be planned ahead. Quarter- 
master requisitions were submitted 
through G-4, SOS, to NYPE by class of 
supply. Special needs, supply shortages, 
and other difficulties were reported in the 
same way. Notwithstanding the absence 
of a depot system in the summer of 1942, 
Littlejohn prepared a plan requiring his 
mythical depot supply officers to report 
weekly stock levels. To receive rations, 
organizations had to present strength 
returns, preferably consolidated at divi- 
sional level, and at the time of its writing, 
Littlejohn's plan envisaged the receipt of 
eighteen divisional reports. He had 
devised a new requisition form for use 
as a voucher, and desired each division to 
consolidate all requisitions to facilitate 
supply. 



Local commanders and Quartermaster 
supply officers in general depots were to 
be authorized to sign certificates of ex- 
penditure for property to the value of 
$100.00. Chiefs of technical services would 
be authorized to approve certificates 
when the value did not exceed $5,000.00. 
In regard to local procurement proce- 
dure, Littlejohn suggested that he would 
furnish an estimate of Quartermaster 
requirements every six months in advance 
to the general purchasing agent, and 
report actual needs on a quarterly basis. 
Whenever practicable, he proposed to 
decentralize Quartermaster purchasing to 
depots, camps, posts, and stations. 

The first ration plan for Bolero, which 
had to conform to the 75-day levels set 
by the War Department, provided for a 
field ration at a 55-day level and an opera- 
tional ration at a 20-day level. *^ The Brit- 
ish-American ration, announced on 29 
May, was to remain in effect and was to be 
supplemented by each combat division 
and air unit through the local procure- 
ment of foodstuffs. OCQM had no choice 
in this planning step, and always consid- 
ered it tentative as subsistence experts at 
Cheltenham went about placing all U.S. 
troops on a type A field ration. Early in 
July 1942, OCQM championed the cause 
of outdoor manual workers, increasing 
their ration by 15 percent. They required 
more nourishment than the 4,070 calories 
of the British-American ration. 

The 17 June plan announced, mean- 
while, that the 20-day level for opera- 
tional rations was to be broken down into 
a 17-day stockage of type C or K, and a 
3-day level for the D ration. The distribu- 
tion plan called for the troops to keep 



" Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics, 19-10- 
1943, ch. XIII. 



" Ltr, Littlejohn to Lee, 2 Jul 42, sub: Ration 
Reserves. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. II, item 4. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



33 



with them a day's D ration, a week's C or 
K type, and two days of the B ration. In 
forward areas there was to be a month's 
supply, of which lo days, as noted above, 
was in the troops' hands. It is interesting 
to note that this distribution plan for 
operational rations was to influence 
gjeatly what the soldiers soon carried 
ashore in their first amphibious opera- 
tion, that against North Africa. In reserve 
depots, a 45-day level was to be held. 
Aware that the British controlled all cold 
storage space, Littlejohn estimated that 
his requirement for refrigerated reserve 
foods would be a minimiun of 30 days. 
With his subsistence needs on paper, and 
the first shipments on order at NYPE, 
Littlejohn's next task was to find storage 
space for rations. 

In the concluding paragraph of his 
plan Littlejohn asked G-4, SOS, for an 
early decision on the line of demarcation 
between the post exchange service and 
the Quartermaster operation of sales 
stores. He was not suggesting Quarter- 
master operation of the post exchange but 
anticipated confusion if lines of respon- 
sibility were not set immediately. OCQM 
understood that on a wholesale basis it 
was to procure and store post exchange 
items, and that the job would be accom- 
plished in line with the retailer's wishes. 
Littlejohn had no evidence of what the 
Army Exchange Service needed, and the 
troops would demand such services im- 
mediately upon arrival. Unfortunately, 
G-4, SOS, was unable to arrive at any 
immediate decision. Two months later, 
OCQM incorporated the Army Exchange 
Service as a staff section on its roster, as 
already described.** 

On the same day that he submitted his 



first detailed supply plan, 17 June 1942, 
Littlejohn set out with General Lee and 
other SOS officers on a tour of England, 
including depot sites at Bristol, Exeter, 
Taunton, Westminster, Thatcham, and 
Salisbury, all of which later became key 
Quartermaster installations. During this 
trip he strengthened his conviction that 
all field quartermasters must have a 
"look-see" for themselves on important 
depot sites instead of accepting observer 
reports or the British paper offer. Many 
depots were converted civilian buildings 
not built for military use and located far 
from projected troop cantonments. He 
also saw that quartermaster resources in 
the United Kingdom were not fully at his 
disposal. They were controlled in the 
interests of a global imperial strategy by 
the British War Office, whose attention 
as June came to an end was riveted on 
recent German successes in Libya that 
endangered British sea power in the east- 
ern Mediterranean. 

In attempting to co-ordinate his own 
arrangements with the first Bolero Key 
Plan, Littlejohn recognized that the 
British had been as generous as possible 
in making their resources available. Yet 
the Key Plan allowed only a glimpse of 
the real conditions in the United King- 
dom. Littlejohn saw that it was not an 
ideal Quartermaster base.*^ The British 
Isles had supported 48,000,000 people 
during more than two years of war, 
including the supreme crisis which 
Churchill had eloquently proclaimed as 
"their finest hour," but the requirements 
of the U.S. Army weighed down an econ- 
omv that was already severely and in- 
creasingly regimented by a stringent ra- 



GO 31, SOS ETOUSA, 24 Aug 42. 



*■' Entries in Littlejohn Reading File. vol. U, 
items 1-72, support his views. 



34 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



tioning system. Military service and war 
industries had claimed most of the avail- 
able labor supply. The Axis Powers, 
concentrating on winning the current 
Battle of the Atlantic, had made Allied 
shipping a primary target. 

As he traveled Littlejohn perceived 
many of the problems his future planners 
would have to consider. First, they must 
acknowledge the position of the British 
in supporting their own portion of 
Bolero and Roundup as well as playing 
host to American troops. Second, all 
scales of accommodation would be upset 
if procurement quartermasters ignored 
British standards and wastefully pre- 
scribed greater comforts for the Ameri- 
cans. Third, quartermasters had to be 
patient with centralized British admin- 
istration, conducted through a complex 
of ministries. And fourth, in deference to 
British methods and means, American 
quartermasters had to imlearn or lay 
aside their training in such things as mass 
production and thinking in expansive 
terms. For example, storage experts could 
not enjoy the advantages of laying large 
areas of concrete in a minimum amount 
of time because this technique was not 
understood in England. 

Littlejohn foresaw that in managing 
depots American officers might be frus- 
trated by a host of little things. One 
embarrassment might result from voltage 
variations as quartermasters tried to 
operate electric power tools and lights. 
Tools of American design simply refused 
to fit local plumbing and electrical sys- 
tems. Lack of time and resources re- 
stricted any alterations in British build- 
ings. Along with colleagues in the engi- 
neer and transport services, quartermas- 
ters had to share all the griefs which 
British hard subsoil and insular weather 



heaped upon their construction activi- 
ties. In looking over the sites which he 
might eventually inherit from the Brit- 
ish, Littlejohn foresaw that his staff could 
easily misimderstand why the British had 
divorced their depots from access to 
water, to transportation sidings, to sewage 
systems, and, above all, to any logistical 
blueprint that contemplated an offensive 
against Hitler's Europe. Of course, Brit- 
ish depots had been dispersed for de- 
fensive warfare long before Americans 
had entered the war.*'^ 

Though quartermasters no longer 
operated a transportation system, they 
remained an integral part of Bolero's 
distribution system. Littlejohn noted in 
June 1942 that the Irish Sea ports were 
open, but had obsolescent facilities that 
were not very well prepared to handle 
the influx of Bolero's 1,000,000 men and 
their supplies in the short space of ten 
months. He doubted that the rail trans- 
port system for clearing the ports could 
handle the estimated additional monthly 
burden of 100,000 men and 120 ship 
cargoes. 

As for storage estimates, Littlejohn's 
field trip confirmed his belief that his 
own 9 June figures were much more accu- 
rate than the estimates he had received 
from Bolero planners upon his arrival 
in London. They had estimated that SOS 
would require 15,000,000 square feet of 
covered storage, including 1,230,000 
square feet of shop space. This space, 
beginning 1 July, was needed at the rate 
of 1,333,000 square feet a month. Of the 
total space the Quartermaster share ap- 
proximated 4,000,000 (gross) square feet, 



*" (1) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 44. 
(2) Ltr, Littlejohn to Scowden, 9 Aug 42. Littie- 
john Reading File, vol. IH, item 13. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



35 



a figure which Littlejohn's own slide 
rule practically tripled. 

After his June trip and those of early 
July the space problem appeared insig- 
nificant as compared to the problem of 
depot location and the condition of the 
sites. Of necessity, SOS had accepted 
space for the projected eighteen divi- 
sional areas, "in penny postage-stamp 
size, on a \vhere is, as is" basis. To reach 
its storage goals many new construction 
projects were unavoidable imless OCQM 
was resourceful and uncomplaining. 
Since there was a critical shortage of con- 
struction materials (all lumber would 
have to be imported) a maximimi of 
ingenuity was clearly indicated. To turn 
British depots to full accoimt, Littlejohn 
saw that adroit administration had to be 
exercised by his depot quartermasters 
from the beginning.*^ 

A field quartermaster could foresee 
most of the physical limitations which 
the Bolero Key Plans imposed on the 
formative period of his wholesale sup- 
port mission, but it was more difficiUt, 
and just as important, for him to imder- 
stand the challenge a million Americans 
away from home invited to his retail sup- 
port mission — housekeeping. He had to 
find ways and means to impress his prob- 
lems on those at home who had the job 
of supporting him. Equally important, 
he had to impress upon the combat 
troops and their commanders the need 
for supply discipline and a certain 
amount of self-denial during the period 
of waiting in the British Isles. 

The characteristic traits of the Ameri- 
can soldier, while an asset to the combat 



"Ltr, OCQM to CG SOS ETOUSA, 14 Jul 42, 
sub: QMC Warehousing Plan. Littlejohn Reading 
File, vol. II, item 43. 



commander, constitute a grave problem 
for the cjuartermaster. The qualities of 
individual initiative and ready adapta- 
bility that make him a formidable oppo- 
nent in battle also make him demanding 
and individualistic in his relations with 
the supply services. American armies 
have always been composed of citizen 
soldiers, very conscious of their status as 
citizens. With combat experience such 
veterans develop the competence, but 
never the point of view of professional 
soldiers. They will endine the priva- 
tions, the fatigue, and the serious inju- 
ries of war — not silently, but with that 
minimimi of grumbling characteristic of 
good troops. But they protest vocifer- 
ously against even minor hardships when 
not actually engaged in combat. Partly 
trained and untried soldiers vocalize 
even more loudly regarding the expo- 
sure, hunger, and fatigue that inevitably 
accompany advanced combat training. It 
should be remembered that the United 
Kingdom was a training ground as well 
as a staging area for U.S. troops. 

American soldiers expected to find a 
large part of their accustomed civilian 
environment in Great Britain. Quarter- 
masters were expected to supply ciga- 
rettes requisitioned by brand name, 
nickel candy bars, two-piece metal razors, 
comic books, the latest magazines, and 
all the peacetime gadgetry of a modern 
industrial nation. The applied psychol- 
ogy of combat commanders convinced 
the men that they were the best soldiers 
in the world and tended to carry with it 
the conviction that they deserved the 
best the world had to offer in supplies 
and services. Many officers appeared to 
share this conviction. The situation in- 
evitably thrust the role of King Solomon 
upon the theater quartermaster, who had 



36 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



to approve some demands, deny others, 
and then attempt to secure the concur- 
rence and co-operation of all concerned. 
The Americans shared some, but not all, 
of Britain's wartime hardships in 1942, 
and possibly their presence speeded up 
an improvement in the local standard of 
living in the summer of 1943, when the 
shipping crisis was overcome.** 

Normally, Quartermaster operations 
follow the steps of planning, organiza- 
tion, and logistical preparations. When 
Littlejohn returned to London at the 
end of June, all Bolero phases were 
abreast. His 17 June plan, his trip, and 
staff studies by OCQM's division chiefs 
began to bear fruit in early July. Ably 
assisted by Colonel Allen, Littlejohn 
turned his attention to local procine- 
ment in order to save shipping space and 
money. It was a promising vineyard. 
Deals ranged from beer to imdertaker's 
supplies. But each Quartermaster class 
of supply involved different acceptable 
standards and OCQM itself had to de- 
cide how far it coidd go in deviating 
from those standards in order to co- 
operate with the British. For instance 
with rations compromises might possibly 
be reached as long as the substitute food- 
stuffs complied with U.S. food laws and 
provided the American soldier with 
enough calories, minerals, and vitamins 
to keep him physically fit. English farm- 
ers had large surpluses of potatoes and 
cabbage but a steady diet of these would 
be monotonous, and, in the long run, 
injurious. 

With Class II supplies there was more 
latitude in accepting products which 
could be procured locally. On the other 



hand clothing specifications and general 
supplies and organizational equipment 
were too highly specialized to permit 
local procurement by a British or 
British-American committee not familiar 
with the items' intended use in the U.S. 
Army. Once the British had determined 
there was a capacity to produce U.S. 
Army requirements (to save transatlan- 
tic shipping) and then agreed to produce 
an item, OCQM was determined to hold 
the British to the agieement. A compan- 
ion to his local procurement activities, 
Littlejohn foresaw, wotdd necessarily be 
an OCQM research and development 
program. With it, OCQM could be in a 
much better position to exploit local 
facilities, to perfect its own standards, or 
to entrust OQMG with furthering its 
field projects.*^ 

Littlejohn's proposals regarding local 
procurement were accepted. Colonel 
Mackeachie would procure and inspect 
all local supplies, perfect arrangements 
with designated agents of British minis- 
tries or other allied or neutral govern- 
ments, make arrangements for services 
and labor, issue regulations, and consoli- 
date SOS piuThases. Colonel Allen, as 
agent for OCQM, was to present Quar- 
termaster estimates to Mackeachie and 
Lee six months in advance, and detailed 
requirements quarterly. 

On 1 July 1942 Allen submitted his 
first estimates outlined in eleven broad 
listings to Littlejohn. The report gave 
British light industry sources of supply, 
suggested products of Ireland, Spain, and 
Portugal for investigation, noted items 
definitely available, and listed those of 
doubtful availability which needed 



^* (i) Interv with Littlejohn, lo Aug 55. (2) 
Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 25. 



** Ltr, Littlejohn to Brig Gen Frank F. Scowden, 
Aug 42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. II, item 2. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



37 



furtlier study by both the British and 
OCQM. In forwarding Allen's report to 
Lee, the CQM remarked that some deci- 
sions might be reached immediately, 
others could drag on for months. Spe- 
cifically, Littlejohn understood that 
Bolero's camp equipment could be pro- 
cured from British sources, initially for 
250,000 men, and by D-day for the full 
troop basis. He also reported that locally 
produced equipment for laimdry, shoe 
repair, and bakery companies was under 
discussion and test. Shoe repair equip- 
ment, he believed, would have to be im- 
ported, while trailer-mounted laimdry 
and bakery machinery, if available, 
might be delivered locally, in limited 
quantities.'" 

With many details still to be clarified, 
the British agreed to furnish from a com- 
mon pool requirements of frozen pork, 
lamb, and mutton, and also beans, cere- 
als. National Wheatmeal Elour, pota- 
toes, bread, lard, sugar, sirup, tea, fresh 
vegetables, and several other foods. Re- 
garding Class II and IV supplies, Allen 
continued to make considerable progress, 
having presented orders to British firms 
for office equipment, fiuniture, soap, 
cleaning materials, most camp stores (in- 
cluding a cot and two British blankets per 
man), all mess gear, and tent poles. Little- 
john told Lee that OCQM intended to re- 
cover the issue of the all-wool U.S. blan- 
kets, storing them for continental opera- 
tions.''^ In anticipation of assuming re- 
sponsibility for the supply of common-use 



^ (1) Memo, Littlejohn for Lee, 1 Jul 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. II, item 2. (2) First Rpt of 
Gen Purch Bd. . . . Hist Br OQMG. (3) Littlejohn, 
ed.. Passing in Review, ch. 41. (4) Memo, Lt Col 
O. C. Mood for Chief Proc Div SOS, 2 Jul 42. 
USFET AG 421, GPA. 

■^ Littlejohn, ed.. Passing in Review, ch. 44. 



items to the Eighth Air Force on 1 Au- 
gust, Littlejohn advised Lt. Col. Lois C. 
Dill, air force quartermaster, of what he 
might expect from local sources. Dill 
drew rations from Kettering and cloth- 
ing from Wellingborough.^^ 

As summer advanced and shipping 
space grew scarcer, Littlejohn's time was 
almost completely monopolized by local 
procurement matters. Administrative 
hitches developed, and procedures had 
to be established, of which many were 
not clarified until early 1943. With vari- 
ous economies in mind, meanwhile, on 
4 July 1942 OCQM proposed and the 
British agreed to exchange certain Class 
I and II items — at first, blankets, wool 
drawers, and undershirts — before 1 Jan- 
uary 1943. On 26 July 1942 the War De- 
partment approved the "swap idea," but 
within a week reversed the policy, hold- 
ing that items would only be procured 
on a reverse lend-lease basis. Littlejohn 
asked Lee to have Somervell reinstate 
the exchange agreements, especially on 
food. The British previously had given 
assurances that components of the re- 
cently announced type A field ration 
(July 1942) could be furnished locally 
with the possible exception of pork, 
cheese, evaporated milk, and dried 
beans. At three-month intervals, both 
parties would consider issues from the 
British reserve of foodstuffs. 

On 17 September Somervell reaffirmed 
his original instructions, namely, that 
local resources were to be exploited to 
the maximum extent, with reverse lend- 
lease still to be the basis for the pro- 
gram. Such supplies had to conform 
with standard American equipment or 



plies. 



Memo, Littlejohn for Dill, 3 Jul 42, sub: Sup- 



38 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



comply with U.S. food laws. Foodstuffs 
and Class II and IV items had to be han- 
dled in a simple, direct fashion, remain- 
ing under the complete control of Eisen- 
hower. Somervell granted Littlejohn au- 
thority to procure (i) food for which no 
replacement to British stocks was neces- 
sary; (2) food whose packaging or proc- 
essing would appreciably increase cargo 
tonnage; (3) emergency food, even 
though replacement was necessary; and 
(4) perishable food, requiring replace- 
ment, which would spoil if imused. Som- 
ervell also wanted clearly defined pro- 
cedures to be established between the 
British Ministry of Food and OCQM. 
He said that food, to be replaced by the 
War Department, would be requisi- 
tioned. OCQM continued to procure lo- 
cally from the NAAFI a wide variety of 
vesretables, fruits, and condiments. ^^ The 
17 September directive now cleared the 
way for Littlejohn to continue negotia- 
tions with the British but in the autumn 
months of 1942 the OCQM found itself 
confronted with many administrative 
bottlenecks, involving conditions of 
purchase, communication channels, and 
British standards. 

Local procurement appeared particu- 
larly promising in POL supply. When 
Littlejohn began to analyze Roundup in 
detail, he noted on 17 July that the in- 
itial invasion plans called for 5-gallon 
gasoline cans. The assault phase required 
6,000,000 cans, of which 400,000 were for 
water. On 29 July, Mackeachie ordered 
50,000 cans from NYPE and enough pre- 
fabricated parts to assemble 500,000 more 
each month prior to D-day in the United 



Kingdom. The War Department replied 
that it would ship one million complete 
units as a reserve, and also the machinery 
for assembling the prefabricated cans. As 
part of his July 1942 procurement pro- 
gram Littlejohn sought a British plant 
to house the American machinery, which 
was scheduled to arrive in two months. 
In November 1942, the War Department 
for strategic reasons decided to defer this 
shipment and continued to ship a modest 
number of cans from the United States. 
The can assembly project was not re- 
vived imtil early 1943.^* 

Deliveries from OCQM's local pro- 
curement activities in 1942 totaled 184,- 
822 dead-weight long tons and repre- 
sented a saving in shipping space of 
259,334 measurement tons (40 cubic feet 
per measurement ton), broken down by 
class of supply as follows: ^^ 

Measure- 
ment 
Class of Supply Lo7)g Tons Tons 

Total 184,822 259,334 

I 57,707 93,579 

II 2,825 15,930 

III 113,863 128,905 

IV 10,427 20,920 

TORCH Interrupts BOLERO's 
Qiiartermasters 

Events far from the British Isles com- 
promised Littlejohn's first Quartermas- 
ter plan of 17 June, as well as his later 
ones of July and August which had 
grown out of its details. But to its au- 
thors, the framing of a detailed Quarter- 
master plan for Bolero was an experi- 



" (1) QM Supply in ETO, I, 29-35. (2) Little- 
john, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 41. (3) Ltr, Lee 
to Eisenhower, 14 Oct 42, sub: Proc and Supply 
Level of Class I Supplies. USFET AG 400.145. 



" (1) QM Supply in ETO, IV, 29-31. (2) Ltr, 
Littlejohn to Lee, 6 Nov 42. Littlejohn Reading 
File, vol. VI, item 35. (3) See below, ch. VI. 

^Littlejohn, ed.. Passing in Review, ch. 41, p. 31. 



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LIBYA 



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EARLY ACTIVITIES 



39 



ence as valuable to Littlejohn's new 
Quartermaster staff as a maneuver is to 
a tactician. Before June had expired, 
planners were fashioning a Mediterra- 
nean strategy, presenting Bolero quar- 
termasters with a serious rival for re- 
sources. In fact, the attack in the western 
Mediterranean could have meant the 
end of Bolero preparations but as a 
residt of a series of compromises the 
basic plan of Bolero was preserved, al- 
though momentarily suspended. By 25 
July 1942 Operation Torch had been 
tentatively outlined. Early in August, 
Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) was 
constituted and General Eisenhower was 
formally designated Commander in 
Chief, Allied Expeditionary Force. His 
Allied staff, meeting at Norfolk House, 
London, had selected the Torch objec- 
tives before the end of August. By 5 
September the tactical phases of plan- 
ning ended, the mounting phases com- 
menced, and D-day, early in November, 
had been set.^*^ 

The Torch strategic plan, on which 
the logistical plan necessarily had to be 
based, consisted of a three-pronged as- 
sault against French North Africa. In 
the center of the 800-mile coastal front, 
landings were to be made against Oran, 
on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria. 
(Map 2) On the extreme east flank, 
after rejecting Timis or Bone because of 
the fear of overextending themselves. 
Torch planners selected the port of 
Algiers. A third landing was to be made 
in the west, near Casablanca on the At- 



lantic coast in French Morocco. Since 
Generalissimo Francisco Franco's atti- 
tude was uncertain, this western land- 
ing would place a force along the bor- 
ders of Spanish Morocco to ensure con- 
trol of the Strait of Gibralter and the 
railroad from Casablanca to Oran, and 
to improve the security of the whole 
North African coast. By effecting a 
speedy junction of the three forces, 
AFHQ might create a favorable oppor- 
tunity for an early capture of distant 
Timisia.'" 

Lucid though it was, the Torch plan 
became increasingly difficult to carry 
out. By mid-September a Center and an 
Eastern Task Force, bound for Oran 
and Algiers respectively, entered their 
mounting stage in the United Kingdom. 
Simultaneously, the Western Task Force, 
with Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., 
commanding, was being readied in the 
United States and moved to the Moroc- 
can beaches.'^® From the United King- 
dom, AFHQ estimated that between 
102,000 and 122,000 Allied troops would 
leave over a two months' span. Of this 
number, 40,000 men comprised the as- 
sault force, broken down into regimen- 
tal combat teams and an armored com- 
bat command, plus supporting troops. 
The D plus 3 convoy was to follow with 
21,000 troops. Drawing from the 1st and 
34th Infantry Divisions of II Corps al- 
ready in England, plus the 1st Armored 



^^ (1) George F. Howe, Northu'est Africa: Seizing 
the Initiative in the West, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1957), 
ch. II. (2) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning, 
1941-1942, pp. 282-93. (3) Leighton and Coakley, 
Global Logistics, 1940-1943, ch. XVI. 



"Outline Plan, AFHQ, Opn Torch, 8 Oct 42. PI 
492, Torch. 

^ Patton flew to London, received a hasty brief- 
ing on Torch, and returned to Washington where 
he established his headquarters in the Operations 
Division, War Department General Staff. The latter 
co-ordinated AFHQ's efforts with those of Patton 
after 2 October when it was definitely decided to 
carry out the Casablanca operation. Outline Plan 
cited n. 57. 



40 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Division, yet to arrive, Eisenhower or- 
ganized Center Task Force, Maj. Gen. 
Lloyd R. Fredendall commanding, and 
Eastern Task Force. Maj. Gen. Charles 
W. Ryder commanded the assatdt force 
of the Algiers operation."*^ 

Apart from the assault phase, AFHQ 
looked ahead to the time when the task 
forces would regroup into conventional 
units, coupled with air and service sup- 
port. Accordingly, planners assumed that 
there would be an American field army 
of seven U.S. divisions (later the Fifth 
Army), a new air force, the Twelfth, and 
two base sections to be known as Atlan- 
tic and Mediterranean Base Sections. It 
was hoped that this team could be built 
in ninety days and that the Americans 
could be supplied entirely from the 
United States by that time. Each task 
force was, meanwhile, to be supplied by 
the base from which it was mounted. 
Gradually ETOUSA was to relinquish 
its supply responsibilities until Torch 
and Bolero, possibly within the frame- 
work of a single theater command, de- 
veloped separate supply channels. ^° But 
this was in the future and at the level of 



^° Predominately a British affair, Eastern Task 
Force was to be spearheaded by Ryder's i68th Regi- 
mental Combat Team in order to retain the facade 
of an all-American character for Torch. 

•^ (i) Eisenhower wanted Torch to have Quarter- 
master supply reserves in the United Kingdom be- 
cause his forces might be cut off either from U.S. 
or U.S. to U.K. supply sources. A firm Torch sup- 
ply plan was agreed upon on 4 December 1942. He 
accepted a 45-day level for D plus 90 providing a 
30-day level of supply was stocked in the United 
Kingdom where it had a shorter distance to travel 
to Oran and from which convoys departed almost 
twice as frequently as from the United States. Msg 
4132, CG ETOUSA to AGWAR, 26 Oct 42, sub: 
Torch Supply Plan; Msg 4404, 2 Nov 42, AFHQ 
to AGWAR, sub: Torch Supply Plan 3. Hist Br 
OQMG. (2) Msg R2576, AGWAR to USSOS, 31 
Oct 42. Torch, AG 495. 



high policy. At their own level, pipeline 
and spigot quartermasters had to be con- 
tent with a few paragraphs extracted 
from highly classified Torch administra- 
tive orders. 

The supply requirements of Torch 
divided the work of quartermasters in 
the United Kingdom into two phases. 
The first was a short-range task calling 
for preparations through D plus 12. The 
second was a long-range task of phasing 
60,000 men into North Africa and bring- 
ing reserve supplies to an acceptable 
level preparatory to basing all Torch 
resupply for the Americans on the United 
States. The first Torch assignment for 
ETO quartermasters came on 14 Septem- 
ber when II Corps presented its list of 
requirements for the first twelve days of 
the operation. For maximum security 
control, G-4, AFHQ, established a regu- 
lating station in London to handle all 
Torch administration. Within the sta- 
tion two representatives from the OCQM 
personally received extracts of requisi- 
tions and special calls from II Corps. 
These embraced initial equipment for 
individuals and organizations fighting in 
winter in a temperate zone, exact loca- 
tion not specified. The requisitions were 
based on a few modifications of Tables 
of Equipment. Such modifications were 
to meet situations peculiar to amphibi- 
ous or desert warfare. At this time depot 
stocks were frozen to all units except 
those on alert in II Corps, and, as re- 
quests were handed to them, the two 
officers set about filling the orders 
around the clock. 

Requisitions were given priority num- 
bers in relation to the embarkation dates 
of the alerted units. Each requisition had 
a "blue" control number on the master 
sheets. Littlejohn's representatives ex- 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



41 



tracted data and, througli the base sec- 
tions, forwarded each specific request to 
a general or branch depot for action. 
Unit su})p]y officers of II Corps were 
then notified to pick up certain portions 

of Blue Number at Depot Number 

. Til is system was fine for secinity; 

for depot quartermasters, it hobbled op- 
erations. They had no time to notify 
units just ^vhat to pick up or where. In 
ninnerous cases three or foiu" trucks ar- 
rived to load items which one jeep could 
haul. At other times, a convoy of 21/2-ton 
trucks \vas needed when a single s^^-ton 
weapons carrier drove up.*'^ 

Under this system OCQM began to 
fill II Corps' assault needs for 40,000 men 
and their vehicles. For subsistence, each 
individual was to carry one C and two 
D rations. Each kitchen carried a unit's 
C ration. Seven days of cased rations, 
plus a 10 percent loss factor for the whole 
force, were loaded as ship cargo. This 
food reserve included three C and four 
British composite rations; the latter were 
designed for fointecn men for one day. 
A day's supply of coffee accompanied 
each British composite ration. Based on 
approximately 1 1 percent of the convoy 
strength, over 4,000 special hospital ra- 
tions were provided. In addition, 2,000,- 
000 salt tablets, 42,000 heat units, and 
5,000 can openers ^vere packaged. **- 

Gasoline, oil, and greases were loaded 
on a 12-day basis for each vehicle in the 
force. Based on current Tables of Equip- 



"' Rpt, Maj Hugh A. Allen, Jr., QM Activities of 
the ETOUSA as of 15 Jan 43 (hereafter cited as 
Allen Rpt). Hist Br OQMG. 

"^Andrew T. McNamara, Brig. Gen., and Col. 
Raymond F. McNally, Quartermaster Acthnties of 
II Corps Thru Algeria, Tunisia, and Sicily and 
First Army Thru Europe (Fort Lee, \'a., 1953), 
ch. I. (Hereafter cited as McNamara Memoir. Sec 
Bibliographical Note.) 



nient, 5-gallon cans, of the returnable 
type, if available, were placed on each 
vehicle of an organization. Fifty gallons 
per day per tracked vehicle and 5 gal- 
lons per day per wheeled vehicle were 
the planning factors. Leaded gasoline for 
the motor trucks was to serve also as fuel 
in field ranges. Whether on vehicles or 
shipped as cargo, each 5-gallon can had 
identification strands of wire around its 
3-bar handle. A single strand over one 
bar identified 80-octane gasoline for 
wheeled vehicles; a strand spanning 2 
bars, 87-octane for tracked vehicles; and 
a wire around 3 bars, 100-octane airplane 
fuel. Cans free of wire contained kero- 
sene. Diesel fuel was shipped only in 
British "flimsies," thin, nonreturnable 
cans containing 4 Imperial gallons. The 
letter "W" painted on any can identified 
water. Initially, 22,700 long tons of POL 
were sent to Africa, representing approxi- 
mately 65 percent of the total SOS ton- 
nage to leave the LInited Kingdom. 

For Class II supplies a modified T/E 
21 of June 1942 provided that several 
khaki cotton garments were to be left 
behind. Each enlisted man was to be 
issued (for security purposes while at 
sea) such articles as eyeshields, a neck- 
cloth, salt tablets, a mattress cover, a 
mosquito head cover, and a tube of 
in.sect repellent. As part of their equip- 
ment, organizations were given one bar- 
ber set per company and a 30-day supply 
of flypaper and swatters, and each depot 
company ^vas issued a 5-pound package 
of rat poison. As for baggage, each man 
carried a drawstring barracks bag con- 
taining a minimum of items of outer 
and under clothing, plus a pair of shoes. 
His second bag ^vas to remain in the 
unit's train. This bag contained a com- 
plete set of clothing resupply. Officers 



42 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



were allowed a bedding roll and a piece 
of hand luggage, and in addition to 
these, general officers could bring a 
trunk locker. 

Lt. Col. Andrew T. McNamara, II 
Corps quartermaster, converted his calls 
for man-days of supply into specific 
quantities of Class II and IV items. 
Thanks to Littlejohn's pioneer reference 
data of August, McNamara's work was 
aided considerably. For M1937 field 
ranges Littlejohn doubled the normal 
maintenance parts along with the 90-day 
combat maintenance of parts to be 
shipped in the future. Likewise, the 
allowance on 5-gallon gasoline cans was 
doubled and the revised factors subse- 
quently proved to be more than off-the- 
cuff estimates. 

Follow-up convoys were to bring a 14- 
day level of Quartermaster items ashore 
by D plus 30; by D plus 60, a 30-day 
level; and by D plus 90, a 45-day level. 
The D plus 4 convoy would bring the 
total strength up to 60,000 men, the D 
plus 13 convoy, a total of 80,000 men, 
and by D plus 42, a 100,000-man force 
would be present. Thereafter, in cycles 
of six or seven days, administrative con- 
voys to Oran were to provide resupply.''^ 

Until September 1942 Norfolk House 
planners had protected their Torch se- 
crets well. Upon examining II Corps' 
initial requisition and inquiring about 
the quartermaster organization for the 
operation, Littlejohn could for the first 
time understand the reasons behind the 



mysterious blows which had been dealt 
to his Bolero activities. In London, 
Middleswart got his first hint that 
Roundup planning was being suspended 
when Maj. Gen. Mark Clark, II Corps 
commander, called him aside after a 
briefing and said that another operation 
had just succeeded Roundup. Since 25 
July, Bolero and Roundup had been 
superseded by Torch. This meant that 
after 5 September, Littlejohn suddenly 
had to prepare for the imminent mount- 
ing out of 40,000 U.S. troops. Sound staff 
work logically called for co-ordinated 
efforts by Torch and Bolero quarter- 
masters. Yet it did not work out this way. 
At least until Torch was assured of a 
separate supply channel, Littlejohn had 
to coimt his costs in personnel losses and 
lower supply levels."* Few quartermas- 
ters in OCQM could estimate their con- 
tribution to Torch supply. After 15 
September, OCQM was responsible for 
implementing a supply plan and con- 
tributing to an organization which had 
been worked out by AFHQ, II Corps, 
and Center Task Force. 

Organizationally, OCQM discovered 
that a sister staff at the Allied level as 
well as the SOS cadres for two task forces 
and the Twelfth Air Force had emerged 
out of Norfolk House planning. AFHQ 
logistics had been the responsibility of a 
British officer, Maj. Gen. Humfrey M. 
Gale, Chief Administrative Officer, with 
Col. Everett S. Hughes as his American 
deputy. At AFHQ level Col. Thomas H. 



•" (1) The table showing Torch's unit POL fac- 
tors for each type of vehicle as prepared and dis- 
tributed by the Petroleum Division, OCQM, 
ETOUSA, 19 September 1942 is in the Allen Re- 
port. (2) McNamara Memoir, p. lo. (3) Ltrs, CG 
Hq II Corps to All Units Concerned, 14 Sep, 4 Oct 
42, sub: Admin Instrs. Hist Br OQMG. 



•" On 3 September Littlejohn wrote Lee that he 
had 95 days of B rations on hand, a week's supply 
of C's, 3 days of D's, and no K's. "The stock of 
clothing is relatively low." He estimated a month's 
reserve. Except for a few items, regular supplies 
were sufficient to maintain "the current garrisons 
for 60 days." Memo, Littlejohn for Lee, 3 Sep 42. 
Littlejohn Reading File, vol. IV, item 5. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



43 



Ramsey, who had been II Corps quar- 
termaster and the former Chief, War 
Plans Branch, Planning and Control Di- 
vision, OQMG, was named as the Amer- 
ican planner on 14 September. McNa- 
mara had succeeded Ramsey at II Corps 
and continued to work on requirements 
for Center Task Force. Meanwhile, on 
24 August, after taking a final look at 
British quartermaster problems in Af- 
rica, Colonel Middleswart, followed by 
Poore, McKinnon, and a British volim- 
teer sergeant, left London for the United 
States, where he was destined to become 
Chief Quartermaster, SOS, Western Task 
Force. Colonel Longino then became 
Deputy Chief Quartermaster, Headquar- 
ters, ETO. Before leaving, Poore consci- 
entiously assembled a set of the current 
series of OCQM circulars and planning 
papers, including notes on the 100,000- 
man plan.*^^ Subsequently, this collection 
played a part in Western Task Force 
planning. 

On 13 September when II Corps' 
requisitions first reached SOS and the 
supply situation suddenly became con- 
fused, Littlejohn himself was appointed 
Deputy Commander, SOS ETOUSA, 
and moved into Lee's Cheltenham office 
when Lee went to London. Throughout 
the Torch mounting phase, Littlejohn 
also continued as Chief Quartermaster, 
SOS ETOUSA, but administered OCQM 
through Colonel Sharp, acting Chief 
Quartermaster. Lee returned to Chelten- 
ham in late October, and Littlejohn suc- 
ceeded Brig. Gen. Thomas B. Larkin as 
Chief of Staff, SOS, when Larkin left as 
G-4, Center Task Force. Within the 



Chief Quartermaster's office, meanwhile, 
reservists rose rapidly to positions of re- 
sponsibility, and as career quartermas- 
ters either took over depot assignments 
or were alerted to fiU vacancies in 
Torch. Colonel Sharp was destined to 
become quartermaster of the Mediter- 
ranean Base Section (MBS) and Colonel 
Rosaler was named quartermaster of 
Twelfth Air Force Service Command. 
Eventually, Littlejohn furnished eighty- 
one officers to Torch. Also, by February 
1943 he had released three depot supply 
companies, two gasoline supply compa- 
nies, a truck regiment (minus two com- 
panies), a bakery battalion plus two pla- 
toons, a service battalion plus a service 
company, a railhead company, a bath 
company, a salvage collecting company, 
a mobile refrigeration company, and a 
mobile laundry section."^ Even with 
Bolero in limbo this loss was a blow, 
much of it coming at a time when Center 
Task Force had to be mounted. 

Between 15 September and 26 Octo- 
ber, the date on which the assault con- 
voys left Glasgow and Liverpool, AFHQ 
G-4, although ably assisted by OCQM, 
SOS ETOUSA, found itself ill' prepared, 
variously handicapped, and running 
short of time in meeting Center Task 
Force's needs. Difficulties developed on 
both sides of the Atlantic. Many of the 
supplies, first requisitioned in June for 
Bolero, were in the pipeline from 
NYPE, along which most logisticians 
were still learning to operate under 
ASF's supply directive of 6 July. In the 



*' (1) Interv with Middleswart, October 1955. (2) 
Hist of AFHQ, pt. I (Aug-Dec 42), p. 77; pt. 11 
(Dec 42-Dec 43), sec. 3, p. 391. OCMH. (3) Poore 
Papers. 



"* (1) McNamara Memoir, pp. 11, 23, 29, 45. (2) 
Memo, Littlejohn for Col C. E. Saltzman, 13 Sep 42. 
Littlejohn Reading File, vol. IVa, item 1. (3) Vol- 
umes IVa and V of the Littlejohn Reading File 
contain valuable information on SOS ETOUSA ac- 
tivities in mounting Torch. (4) Allen Rpt. 



44 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



United Kingdom, 101,600 long tons of 
poorly packaged Quartermaster items 
had to be moved into several Irish Sea 
ports, transported across the country, and 
sorted, preparatory to outloading them 
at Torch's two ports of embarkation, 
Glasgow and Liverpool. Movement was 
a responsibility of the British, prodded 
by American expediters. 

To mount Torch, AFHQ's quarter- 
master machinery rolled over much of 
the same ground which OCQM had ex- 
plored for Bolero. At the ports on the 
Clyde, the Mersey, and in the Bristol 
Channel, where German night air raids 
were now becoming severe, new traffic 
saturated the facilities. Clearance became 
a tremendous task. Poor markings, frail 
commercial packaging, paper labels, in- 
adequate handling, belated transmission 
of manifests, and reckless transshipment 
inland from the ports had resulted in 
the misplacement of rations and pack- 
aged POL. Although it had recently 
taken over supervision of five general 
depots, the OCQM had to lay aside a 
logical depot system which had been de- 
veloped for Bolero. 

On 4 September G-4, SOS, directed 
OCQM to "open QM branch depots at 
Hilsea and Cardiff on 7 September and 
Stowmarket on the 14th." Depot quarter- 
masters continued to improvise. With no 
time to build new installations, general 
depots occupied warehouses, open fields, 
and hastily evacuated British military 
depots. Liverpool, Barry, and Hilsea 
depots, located near port complexes 
which the OCQM would normally have 
avoided in an orderly situation, became 
general depots overnight. The Quarter- 
master branch depots, opened at Stow- 
market, Exeter, Lydney, and Glasgow, 
were far removed from the sites which 



OCQM wanted in southwestern Eng- 
land. Hastily, POL depots at Masbury 
(23 September) and Highbridge (26 Oc- 
tober) were activated. Deployed over this 
network, undermanned staffs had no 
alternative but to rely on British 
civilians to operate the inadequately 
equipped depots. Initially, British civil- 
ian employees had great difficulty in 
understanding American procedures. 
Necessarily drawn from untested reserv- 
ists, base and depot quartermasters 
eagerly sought the few technicians who 
could assist them in management. After 
29 September teams appointed by the 
various chiefs of technical services and 
G-4, SOS, visited depots and followed 
the progress made in filling II Corps 
requisitions. Armed with OCQM's ref- 
erence data, quartermasters industriously 
tackled their assignments. In the ab- 
sence of service units, quartermasters 
welcomed the loan of combat and sup- 
port troops from the 29th Infantry Divi- 
sion and the Eighth Air Force. ®'^ 

Out of the avalanche of supply it was 
no easy task to separate twelve to four- 
teen days of specific Quartermaster items. 
Momentarily, the OCQM ignored the 
long-range aspects of maintenance supply 
for Torch. Twenty-five years of experi- 
ence had gone into most Quartermaster 
Tables of Organization and Equipment, 
but the troops attempted to bring along 
all manner of extras and Littlejohn and 
McNamara had to cull out many luxury 
and excess items. Supplies had been 
dumped into warehouses or open spaces 



•^ Memo, Littlejohn for Sharp, 8 Sep .|2; Memo, 
Littlejohn for Hughes, 27 Sep 42, sub: Transmis- 
sion to SOS of Matters Relating to Supply of Task 
Forces, etc.; Ltr, Littlejohn to Goodman, 22 Oct 
42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. IV, item 12; vol. 
rVa, item 41; vol. V, item 79. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



45 



without being inventoried, and many 
items could not be located. Ships had 
been unloaded for a quick turnaroimd 
passage and it took time to rewed II 
Corps units with their missing organiza- 
tional equipment. In the confusion no 
one attempted to fix blame. If boxes at 
point of origin were marked with paper 
labels or lead pencils, and bills of lading 
bore only a vague statement as to the 
gross tonnage or branch of supply, it is 
easy to imderstand the disorder that fol- 
lowed when they were deposited on a 
British pier that was damaged, over- 
loaded, or manned by untrained civil- 
ians. A serious challenge to OCQM de- 
veloped from the anguished II Corps 
calls for Class II and IV initial equip- 
ment, and AFHQ and the War Depart- 
ment had to make last-minute arrange- 
ments to replace a large number of mis- 
laid items by forwarding whole ship- 
loads from the United States.®^ 

On 26 October 1942, the day that Mc- 
Namara left Glasgow with the assault 
convoy, he and Littlejohn had the satis- 
faction of knowing that they had done 
everything in their power for the D-day 
and D plus 3 convoys. At the last mo- 
ment McNamara suddenly remembered 
that there was not a medal in the con- 
voy. He sent a blinker message to shore 
requesting that a case of decorations be 
included on the D plus 13 convoy. 
Meanwhile, the support phase had not 
been overlooked. Littlejohn and McNa- 
mara had done the best they could in 
setting up supplies for convoys through 
D plus 72, by which time fifteen convoys 
were to have left the United Kingdom, 
sailing on an average of six days apart. 



One of OCQM's major concerns for 
these convoys had been the provision of 
B rations in order that the troops could 
dispense with their emergency rations as 
quickly as possible.''^ 

After the logistical nightmare with 
Torch, Littlejohn proposed to visit 
Styer, Goodman, and Col. Ira K. Evans, 
QM port representative at NYPE, to 
straighten out shipping and supply prob- 
lems which had developed. Before 
changes could be announced in SOS 
ETOUSA, Littlejohn had to know the 
reasons behind the War Department's 
policies. For example, the 5-gallon gaso- 
line can was a multilateral item of supply 
that involved the Ordnance Department, 
the Quartermaster and Engineer Corps, 
and the local Area Petroleum Office. 
The Motor Transport Service was an 
orphan disowned by several chiefs of 
services and the G-4, SOS. As yet the 
War Department had no set policy on 
impregnated clothing. Logistical litera- 
ture from the chiefs of services in the 
United States was conspicuous by its 
absence. The War Department dur- 
ing the Torch preparations had never 
given SOS ETOUSA a firm troop 
basis either for its headquarters or for 
its operating troops. As for Quarter- 
master problems, OCQM had had no 
word on a cased B ration (the proposed 
10-in-i), on boneless meat, on a combat 
service shoe with synthetic sole, on cloth 
for officers' uniforms, on a suitable com- 
bat uniform for nurses, on the disposal 



"^Lelghton and Coakley, Global Logistics, 1940- 
1943, pp. 429-32. 



"" (1) In June 1943 General Littlejohn was awarded 
the Distinguished Service Medal for unusual serv- 
ices "in rapidly establishing a QM service through- 
out the theater which met and solved the many 
unexpected and seemingly insurmountable problems 
... in the organization and supply of the African 
task force." (2) McNamara Memoir, ch. I. 



46 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



of surplus baggage, on an effects depot, 
on a sturdy, manageable, barracks bag, 
on spare parts for field ranges, on a plan 
to combine bakery and coffee-roasting 
units, and on policy regarding local pro- 
curement. Lacking answers to specific 
queries on all these subjects, Littlejohn 
left for the United States on 6 Novem- 
ber 1942^° 

In the United States, too, the decision 
to launch Torch diverted the main 
stream of resources away from the 
United Kingdom to the speedy mount- 
ing of Patton's Western Task Force and 
thereafter to the direct support of all 
Torch operations. Patton's command 
was directly responsible to the Opera- 
tions Division, War Department Gen- 
eral Staff (OPD WDGS), which proc- 
essed Quartermaster requisitions and 
passed them on to ASF, which in turn 
gave them to OQMG to fill. OQMG 
alerted its depots and informed the ports 
of the availability of items. At Indian- 
town Gap, Pennsylvania, an SOS, West- 
ern Task Force, was assembled, with 
Brig. Gen. Arthur R. Wilson command- 
ing. Colonel Middleswart was named 
chief quartermaster, but his staff's plan- 
ning was confined to the postlodgment 
period. ^^ 

Twenty Quartermaster support units 
were alerted to move with Patton's as- 
sault force, but it was later decided that 
not a single one would land on D-day. 
Actually, the decision to strip down the 
assault force almost to its tactical units 



™ Littlejohn Reading File, vols. IV, IVa, V, VI. 

^ (1) Ray S. Cline, WasJiinglon Coininand Post: 
The Operations Division, ' UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1951), 
pp. 180-87. (2) Memo, ACofS OPD for CG AGF 
and SOS, 2 Sep 42, sub: Preparation of Units for 
Overseas Sv. Atlantic Base Sec, 320.2. 



did not reflect a cold indifference on Pat- 
ton's part toward service troops. A 
month before his departure, he alerted 
Clark and OPD to his need for such 
troops, saying OPD's allotment was in- 
adequate. Apparently, the shipping 
shortage motivated Clark's decision to 
cut out service troops. Yet Center Task 
Force at the same moment was mounting 
several Quartermaster support units in 
addition to the ist Engineer Special Bri- 
gade, a new type of unit for organizing 
and handling beach operations. ^^ 

In the haste of assembling Patton's 
task force, staging area demands could 
not be met by the Quartermaster depot 
at Richmond, Virginia. Other depots 
filled emergency orders. Despite a 50 per- 
cent reduction in the D-day tonnage, sup- 
plies poured into the ports. Until the last 
minute commanders deferred decisions 
on what to take with the result that units 
retained their full allowances of Quar- 
termaster ecjuipment until the last avail- 
able cargo space was filled. Patton's last 
days in the zone of interior witnessed in- 
creased authorizations for drawing 
boards, folding desks, and typewriters, 
and last-minute requests for paulins, 
medals, bicycles, and special Christmas 
rations, while teletype messages spelled 
out rush orders for flags, staffs, brassards, 
and even a light launch. Once the port 
commander called on a depot for Quar- 
termaster items, presumably assembled 
by an earlier alert order, the operational 
responsibility of OQMG was fulfilled. 

To be reasonably assured of supplies 
between the time the beachhead was 
secured and the ports were opened, all 
transports were combat loaded. Each ves- 



'2 Memo, CG Task Force A for Chief OPD WDGS, 
24 Sep 42. Atlantic Base Sec, 320.2. 



EARLY ACTIVITIES 



47 



sel carried a full allotment of each class 
of supply for its own passengers or lor 
troops landing in a particular area. 
Though combat loading represented an 
uneconomical use of space, it reduced 
the risk of serious losses in any one class 
of supply at a time when German sea and 
air raiders threatened every transatlantic 
convoy. 

To facilitate combat loading, the Rich- 
mond Quartermaster Depot set up one 
and one-half million type B field and 
combat rations in twenty-eight separate 
lots, or one per transport. Within each 
set the ration was strapped for rough 
handling and packed in 70-pound loads 
to be handled by one man. Patton's ra- 
tion plan provided for three separate al- 
locations: an individual and initial re- 
serve, a beach reserve, and a B landing 
ration. It was on a 15-day supply level, 
backed up by a 60-day floating reserve, 
and it included tobacco, candy, and toilet 
articles for gratuitous issue to the troops. 
In addition, a total of about 50 long tons 
of tea, sugar, and rice, and some 20,000 
yards of cotton cloth were brought along 
to be bartered for assistance by North 
Africans." 

The vessels of the Western Task Force 
began to leave Hampton Roads Port of 



"3 (1) Ltr, Maj R. B. Carhart to Richmond QM 
Depot, 20 Sep 42, sub: Shipment of Class I for a 
Task Force. OQMG 400, Move A. (2) Ltr, AGWAR 
to CG NYPE et al., 25 Sep 42, sub: Shipment of 
Class II and IV for Task Force. OPD 115. (3) An- 
nex 1 to AdminO i, Hq Task Force A, 9 Oct 42, 
sub: QM Supplies; Annex 1, Final Rpt on Opn 
Torch. Both in AFHQ G-3. (4) Ltr, AGWAR to 
CG Task Force A, 4 Oct 42. Middleswart Papers. 



Embarkation on 23 October, a date bet- 
ter known as marking the opening phases 
of the Battle of El 'Alamein. H-hour for 
the Torch operation was set for 0100, 8 
November 1942.^* 

Until a separate theater was created 
in North Africa, Bolero quartermasters 
had the dual job of supporting Torch 
and at the same time of sustaining the 
growing air bombardment of Europe. By 
February 1943, the demands of Torch 
had reduced the American garrison in 
the United Kingdom to approximately 
100,000 men, including 20,000 troops of 
V Corps, 50,000 men in the Eighth Air 
Force, 30,000 service troops, and a small 
.headquarters contingent. With such a 
.small number in the British Isles, it ap- 
peared that Bolero quartermasters 
woidd have nothing much to do except 
the routine of hotisekeeping. On the con- 
trary, the period between November 
1942 and August 1943 was one of intense 
activity for OCQM and Quartermaster 
Service. The depot system was built on 
a solid foundation. The field of local pro- 
curement continued to be exploited. 
Above all, a carefid planning program 
was reborn. After September 1943, the 
bold coimterstrokes in secondary theaters 
gave way to the meticidous calculations 
that brought together all the components 
of a great striking force in the United 
Kingdom. By that time Quartermaster 
basic plans and organization were ready 
to support Operation Overlord, the new 
code name for the invasion of northwest 
Europe. 



Howe, Nortlni'est Africa, p. 67. 



CHAPTER III 



Mediterranean Quartermasters Improvise 

During 1943 



When the Torch forces landed in 
French North Africa in November 1942, 
the Mediterranean area had already seen 
more than two years of war. Fighting had 
begun in Jime 1940, when Italy hastily 
declared war on a defeated France and 
an imdaunted Britain. In the months 
that followed, Metropolitan France, with 
both American and Canadian missions 
accredited at Vichy, could be considered 
a neutral nation, but the French colonial 
empire was in fact, if not officially, at 
war with Britain. British attacks on Oran 
and Dakar in July 1940, and the occupa- 
tion of Syria a year later, aroused deep 
French resentment, and made it urgently 
necessary that Torch have the appear- 
ance of a predominantly American ex- 
pedition. Hoping to nourish French re- 
sentment into a full alliance against the 
British, the Axis Powers were tactful in 
their official relations with the colonies. 
Apart from a small German-Italian ob- 
server organization, to enforce the armis- 
tice terms, the area was not imder direct 
Axis control as the Torch operation be- 
gan.^ 

The British were constrained to action 
against their recent ally by the need to 
maintain their position in the Middle 



East. That Britain's life line ran via Malta 
to Suez, and thence to India, was one of 
the truisms of recent history, but by mid- 
1942, as Japan extended its conquests, 
the Mediterranean became an Americarl 
life line as well. The lono- alternative 
route around Africa slowed down con- 
voys not only to British bases in Egypt, 
Iraq, and India, but to U.S. bases al- 
ready established in Iran, Burma, and 
Australia. By mid- 1942 the Middle East 
had become a center of American as well 
as British strategic interest, and succeed- 
ing months saw a slow build-up of U.S. 
Army Air Forces (USAAF) units in the 
area, largely dependent upon the Royal 
Air Force (RAF) for logistical support. 
On 8 November 1942, the same day that 
far more dramatic events were occurring 
2,000 miles to the west, Lt. Gen. Frank 
M. Andrews formally activated the U.S. 
Army Forces in the Middle East (USA- 
FIME), a separate theater headquarters 
with rotighly the same boundaries as its 
British counterpart.- Thus many charac- 
teristics of warfare in the Mediterranean, 
and of American participation in opera- 
tions there, had emerged before the 



' Howe, Northwest Africa, pp. 4-14. 



^ USAFIME later became a very active area of 
QMC operations, but since it had ceased to be an 
active theater in the war against Germany, its 
history will not be covered in this volume. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



49 



Torch expedition. Tlie first objective of 
Mediterranean combat was control ol 
the sea lanes, a prize to be gained by land 
and air as well as naval operations. 
Torch itself was decided upon primarily 
because German air power in Sicily and 
Crete had reduced the utility of Malta 
as a convoy station, and not solely be- 
cause of the German Army's threat to 
Egypt and the Suez Canal. Once mari- 
time supremacy was restored, all finther 
objectives would be more easily attained. 
The geography of the area assmed that 
every major land campaign coidd be sup- 
ported from its own major port, ^vithout 
excessively long lines of rail or highway 
communication. It was no accident that 
every major logistical headquarters ^vas 
named a base section.^ 

The Middle East remained a predomi- 
nantly British theater, and Americans 
there learned tactical and logistical con- 
cepts from veterans of the Eighth Army, 
and from the RAF's Western Desert Air 
Force. The Desert Training Center in 
California had been selected because the 
arid climate and terrain resembled that 
of Libya, but conditions in both areas 
were widely different from the wet 
scrubby landscape actually encountered 
in parts of French Northwest Africa. As 
Lt. Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery's 
forces converged Avith General Eisen- 
hower's, the faded khaki uniforms and 
pale yellow camouflaged vehicles from 
the desert country contrasted sharply 
with the wool olive drab imiforms and 
dark green vehicles of the units newly ar- 
rived from Britain and the United States. 



The Anglo-American landings on 8 
November 1942 were followed by three 
days of combat against French troops — ^a 
tragedy, but not a futile one. The fight- 
ing served to convince the French that 
Torch was a major operation, not a 
series of pinprick raids, and that the out- 
come shoidd be defined as a French re- 
volt, rather than as an American victory. 
It can be argued that a more widely 
heralded operation, with less emphasis on 
surprise, would have saved American, 
French, and British lives; but that view 
underrates the alertness of German in- 
telligence, and the strength and mobility 
of the opposing forces. The defection of 
Vichy French forces in Morocco and Al- 
geria only strengthened Axis determina- 
tion to win the race for securing Timisia. 
On 9 November German planes were at 
Ttmis. Two days later, tising all-weather 
fields, hundreds of aircraft had arrived 
and five Axis cruisers were offshore. Ger- 
man tanks patrolled the streets of Timis 
and Bizerte, and the outlying defenses at 
Mateur were bolstered. By the end of 
November 1942, the western Mediter- 
ranean was alive with the German effort 
to offset Torch.* 

Securing North African Beaches and 
Bases 

In the predawn hours of 8 November 
1942, Torch convoys dropped anchor in 
Atlantic and Mediterranean waters and 
began simultaneously discharging assault 
troops into landing craft that wotdd 
carry them onto nine North African 



■* USAAF operations from Middle East bases are 
discussed in Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea 
Gate, eds., "The Army Air Forces in World War 
II," vol. II. Europe: TORCH to POINTBLANK, 
August 1942 to December 194'i (Chicago: The 
University of Chicago Press, 1949), Chapter 1. 



* Howe, Nortliwest Africa, Appendix B, gives 
monthly tonnage figures for German supply ship- 
ments to North Africa. 



50 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



beaches.^ Against Morocco the operation 
involved three landings along a 200-mile 
coastal strip. General Patton's forces 
landed at Fedala and Safi, primarily to 
move overland and capture Casablanca 
without damaging that larger and more 
modern port. To the north of Casa- 
blanca, those striking at Port-Lyautey 
were to seize the only all-weather airfield 
in Morocco, secure the rail junctions on 
the main line from Casablanca to Algiers 
via Fes, and effect a junction with forces 
from Oran. 

In the Oran area, two columns en- 
veloped the city from the west, and a 
third column headed south from Arzew, 
a village some thirty miles northeast of 
the well-equipped berths at Oran itself. 
Inasmuch as these columns neglected the 
mole and piers in Oran's harbor, two 
companies of the 6th Armored Infantry 
Regiment were floated in directly toward 
the docks of Oran at three hours past mid- 
night. Far to the east of Oran, the same 
envelopment tactics were used against 
Algiers. 

At all points opposition had been ex- 
pected, and at Oran the French provided 
no disappointments. Even before the 
troops touched land, one phase of Quar- 
termaster work began to unfold. From 
defenses in Oran's harbor, French ma- 
chine gunners, after a two-hour alert from 
the three enveloping columns, butchered 
the advancing infantrymen as they stood 
below deck in their two unarmored cut- 



^ During World War II, units which participated 
in an amphibious or airborne assault landing re- 
ceived the bronze service arrowhead to be worn on 
a theater ribbon. This award was made by the 
theater commander. In North Africa the follow- 
ing QM units received the arrowhead under War 
Department General Order 70, 20 August 1945: the 
gth QM Company, the 85th QM Depot Supfply 
Company, and the 184th QM Depot Company. 



ters. Those recovered were later buried 
by Quartermaster troops in Oran's first 
military cemetery. Landings at other 
points proceeded without major inci- 
dent.*' 

Only a few Quartermaster detachments 
were present during the period of 8-11 
November, and the handling of QM 
classes of supply cannot be separated from 
the over-all support story. At all points, 
troops and unit trains went ashore with 
five days of supply, while another week's 
supply was offshore as cargo. This meant 
that a total of twelve days' supply for 
107,000 men began moving over nine 
beaches. Dumps at each landing were the 
responsibility of each assault group. By 
merely observing the landings, task force 
G-4 sections missed an opportimity to 
carry out their mission of centralizing co- 
ordination. 

The word "disorganization" summa- 
rizes the over-all picture of supply dur- 
ing the first three days. That the opera- 
tion proved a success can be attributed 
less to the efficiency of the assault landing 
than to the essential accuracy of the esti- 
mate, largely ignored by tactical com- 
manders, that the French would offer 
brief, if any, resistance. Much of the diffi- 
culty resulted from the inexperience of 
the participants, the speed with which 
they had been assembled, and their in- 
ability to rehearse the supply phase of 
the operation. On these points Western 
Task Force offers a valuable case study.'^ 

In Morocco, thanks to what has been 
described as the calmest surf in sixty-eight 
years, small amounts of ammunition, ra- 
tions, drinking water, and gasoline were 



" (1) Howe, Nort Invest Africa, chs. VI-VIII. (2) 
McNamara Memoir, pp. 15—16. 

^ (1) Final Rpt of Opns WTF, G-4 an., 8-11 Nov 
42. Opns Rpt, WTF. (2) McNamara Memoir, p. 20. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



51 



ashore by the afternoon of D-day. Because 
of an acute shortage of motor transporta- 
tion, the forward movement of supplies 
from the beach groups to combat units, 
as well as the relocation of supplies mis- 
placed by confused coxswains of landing 
craft, was virtually impossible. French 
resistance at Safi and Fedala terminated 
on D-day, and combat troops were free 
to move in the direction of Casablanca. 
On the first afternoon the surf rose so 
rapidly and ominously that operations 
over the beaclies were threatened. High 
groimd swells capsized some landing craft 
and dashed others against rocks with 
losses of troops, vehicles, and supplies. In 
the Port-Lyautey sector only tracked ve- 
hicles moved inland and shore parties had 
to scramble to move trucks and stores 
above the high-water mark. 

Final computations on the destruction 
of landing craft varied, but most esti- 
mates agreed that losses for Western Task 
Force approximated 35 percent, a figure 
that was too high for efficiency. It was 
not even creditable by comparison with 
the higher losses at Algiers. Summarizing 
his command's experience at Port-Lyau- 
tey, Maj. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., 
reported to Patton that "the combina- 
tion of inexperienced landing craft crews, 
poor navigation, and desperate hurry re- 
sulting from lateness of hour, finally 
turned the debarkation into a hit-or-miss 
affair that would have spelled disaster 
against a well-armed enemy intent upon 
resistance." ^ 



The loss of landing craft and their con- 
tents, as well as the lack of service troops 
on the beaches, quickly demonstrated the 
dependence of tactical maneuver upon 
logistical support. Because of insufficient 
supporting weapons, transportation, and 
communications equipment, the south- 
ward advance from Fedala by elements 
of the 3d Division stalled as completely 
as if the French defenders of Casablanca 
had come out in force. In the hope of ex- 
ploiting the advantage produced by a 
show of strength, the 3d Division resumed 
its march by midnight of 9 November. 
Marching troops now endured the fatigu- 
ing test of hand-carrying supplies which 
should have been transported in organic 
vehicles.'* 

Transport quartermasters complained 
of their lack of authority to control un- 
loading. Compoimding the difficulty was 
the absence of other officers and noncom- 
missioned officers capable of maintaining 
control on the beaches, piers, or quays. 
The beach supply-handling parties loafed 
at their jobs; some wandered away. 
Drivers of vehicles insisted that they were 
not obliged to assist with the imloading. 
Because beach parties consisted largely of 
combat engineers, there was a tendency 
to give them other duties. At Fedala, by 
the evening of D-day, more sailors than 
soldiers were handling cargo on shore. 
So haphazard was the unloading at dock- 
side that the search for various items re- 
sembled a foraging operation. Even the 
arrival of thirty-three 2i/4-ton trucks be- 
longing to the 3d Division's Quarter- 



8 (1) Quoted in Rpt, Brig Gen Arthur R. Wilson, 
G-4 WTF, to CofS WD. 12 Dec 42 (hereafter cited 
as Wilson Rpt). Opns Rpt, WTF. (2) Samuel Eliot 
Morison, "History of United States Naval Opera- 
tion in World War II," vol. II, Operations in North 
African Waters, October 1942-June 1943 (Boston: 
Little, Brown and Company, 1947), p. 123. 



* (1) Donald G. Taggard, ed.. History of the 
Third Infantry Division in World War II (Wash- 
ington: Infantry Journal Press, 1947), pp. 28-29. 
(2) Rpt, Sub-Task Force Brushwood, 7-11 Nov 42. 
Opns Rpt, WTF. 



52 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



master company, could not bring quick 
order to the supply tangle at Fedala. 

At Safi, speedy efforts were made to re- 
cruit local inhabitants, togrether with 
their trucks and warans, to assist in the 
unloading and sorting of supplies. Quar- 
termasters inade payment in cigarettes, 
cloth, or canned rations but it shortly be- 
came apparent that workers were more 
interested in the golden opportunity to 
pilfer. Many native drivers, after being 
given a loaded truck and directions for 
delivery, disappeared. Two days after the 
landing, tons of ammunition and rations 
were discovered on native fishing boats. ^'^ 

Slowly logistical order prevailed in 
Morocco. On 19 November 1942 the first 
administrative convoy docked at Casa- 
blanca, carrying thirty days' supply of 
Quartermaster items and 32,000 service 
troops, including Headfjuarters, 6th Port, 
and its two organic port battalions. In 
addition, a Quartermaster truck regi- 
iiient and a service battalion arrived, to- 
gether with the advance echelon. Quar- 
termaster Section, SOS, Western Task 
Force, consisting of Lt. Col. James E. 
Poore, Jr., and Col. Humphrey S. Evans, 
a supply officer. They made an immediate 
reconnaissance of Casaf^lanca to deter- 
mine available storage facilities, to survey 
the availability of local foodstuffs, coal, 
and liquid fuels, to determine local labor 
sources and wages, and to locate bakeries, 
shoe repair facilities, and other services. 

Within the month Evans and Poore 
were working for Col. Ralph H. Tate, 
G-4, SOS, Western Task Force, and made 
the first survey of the Rabat-Meknes-Fes 
area alono; the rail line stretchino toward 



Oujda, and thence to Oran. At mid-De- 
cember, the Chief Quartermaster, SOS, 
Western Task Force, Colonel Middle- 
swart, accompanied by his executive offi- 
cer. Col. Neal H. McKay, arrived in Casa- 
blanca. With the activation of Fifth Army 
late in December 1942, Atlantic Base Sec- 
tion was organized and Middleswart be- 
came its chief quartermaster. By March 
1943. Casablanca's port capacity was not 
being fully used because, with the shift 
of operations toward Tunisia, Oran was 
receiving an increasing proportion of in- 
coming tonnage. ^^ 

In the Arzew-Oran landings, Freden- 
dall's Center Task Force likewise ex- 
perienced a shortage of service troops. Its 
G-4 staff failed to co-ordinate beach 
operations, and discipline at the beach 
dumps ^vas lacking. Fredendall had one 
advantage over Patton. He had provided 
for the services of 350 men of the 1st In- 
fantry Division's quartermaster battalion 
as well as men of the 1st Engineer Special 
Brigade to support the 1st Infantry Divi- 
sion and Combat Command B, 1st Ar- 
mored Division. Also, II Corps brought 
along its quartermaster to Arzew on D- 
day. With seven years of experience as an 
infantry officer. Colonel McNamara was 
able to observe the operation with a 
trained eye. He was on hand to make an 
early reconnaissance of sites. His presence 
would become even more important 
when II Corps assumed responsibility for 
supply functions for Mediterranean Base 
Section. By being in the area for D-day, 



^" (1) Study, Maj ^Villiam C. Fricison, Prepara- 
tions for Torch, II, p. 134. OCMH. (2) Howe, 
Northwest Africa, pp. log, 137-41. (3) Taggard, 
ed.. History of the TItird Infantry Division, p. 27. 



" (1) Joseph Bykofsky and Harold Larson, The 
Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 

(Washington, i9r,7), chs. IV, V. (2) Ltr, Poore to 
Middleswart, 27 Nov 42; Poore Journal, Nov-Dec 
43. Both in Poore Papers. (3) History of Quarter- 
master Section, Atlantic Base Section. Poore Papers. 

(Hereafter cited as Hist of QM ABS.) 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



53 



McNamara was able to make this supply 
transition smoothly/- 

Resistance at Arzew, the primary D-day 
objective, was so brief that a detachment 
of 11 officers and 173 men of the 1st Divi- 
sion's Quartermaster battalion was able 
to land at Grand Quay by 0930. Simul- 
taneously, a smaller detachment came 
over Zebra Beach on the south side of the 
harbor. That afternoon two ships in the 
assault convoy berthed at Arzew's two 
piers, and with the help of the Quarter- 
master detachment that had landed 
earlier, unloading of the assault cargo be- 
gan. The detachment commandeered a 
locomotive and five cars, and, using a 
native crew, shuttled stores around the 
docks and from the beaches to the raihvay 
station which served as the divisional 
distribution point. 

Inasmuch as three-fourths of the task 
force strength was beina: discharcjed at 
Arzew, three-fourths of its assault supply 
was also landing there. Along with the 
supplies of other services Quartermaster 
items moved from ship to shore under 
the supervision of 1st Engineer Special 
Brigade. For his Class I dump, Mc- 
Namara selected a little park a few blocks 
away from the piers at Arzew, and his 
ration point was operated by 51 men of 
the 85th QM Depot Supply Company. 
Northwest of Arzew, 112 men from Com- 
pany B, 205th QM Gasoline Supply Bat- 
talion, found the local gas and oil refinery 
in good condition and opened a Class III 
depot, exploiting both the pipeline and 
a narrow-gauge railroad to Arzew's dock 
area. 

Before landing, McNamara had been 



'^^ (1) Opns Rpt, I St QM Bn (Divisional), 22 Nov 
42. Hist Br OQMG. (2) This unit was reorganized 
as a company on 5 January 1943. GO 2, Hq 1st Inf 
Div, 5 Jan 43. 



assured that trucks of the brigade would 
carry supplies, regardless of service, to the 
dumps for which they were intended. But 
there was a lack of G-4 supervision, and 
the engineers merely dumped cargo at 
spots convenient to them, always at the 
water line. Moreover, the eno^^ineers had 
no control over the landing area itself, 
and the Arzew docks and beaches were 
open to a host of visitors. Unit supply 
officers had a field day laying in reserves. 
Fortunately, the Class III dump slowly 
acquired stock because Company B, 205th 
QM Battalion, had a few trucks. The 
Class I officer, despite his resourcefulness 
in getting one truck to haul his own re- 
serves, barely managed to maintain a bal- 
ance of supply. Unquestionably, twelve 
days' rations for 40,000 men should have 
been adequate until the D plus 4 convoy 
arrived. But they were exhausted in the 
course of four days, not as a result of 
bad planning, but by the overdrawing 
of rations inspired by the philosophy of 
getting while the getting was good. 

On D plus 2, operations at Arzew har- 
bor were left in the hands of the amphib- 
ian engineers, while the ist Division's 
Quartermaster battalion devoted itself 
to operating a divisional dump, distribut- 
ing supplies, and providing trucks for the 
deployment of combat units. On ii No- 
vember the French commander at Oran 
surrendered, and McNamara immedi- 
ately moved into the city. He had to 
make haste in selecting depot sites to 
house the shipments scheduled to arrive 
from the United Kingdom. Fourteen 
days of supply for a total of 80,000 men, 
according to the Torch plan, would be 
on hand by D plus 30. 

Surprised and chagrined to note the 
unfortunate contrast between representa- 
tions on maps and photographs and 



54 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



reality on the ground, McNamara was 
able, "after much jabbering in French 
and the use of my active hands," to ar- 
range for the occupancy of usable sites. 
His first call was on the manager of 
Oran's large gasoline refinery. The tanks 
were in excellent condition and by 12 
November had absorbed the contents of 
one tanker. Armed with premarked maps 
and aerial photos of Oran, McNamara 
sped to what appeared to be a promising 
Class I site, the city's bull ring. But under 
the stadium seats where he had planned 
to store rations, McNamara found holi- 
day litter which could not be tidied up 
in a matter of days. Nor was the ring de- 
sirable for open storage: it smelled of 
bulls. What he had thought were good 
avenues of access to the arena, well paved 
and broad, turned out to be nothing 
more than donkey paths. For a ration 
point he finally settled on a vacant lot at 
a good street intersection. His next stop 
was at the city hall where he was able to 
requisition a Class II and IV warehouse 
at 66 Rue du Tetre. Availability was the 
location's only asset. On the southeast 
side of Oran, he opened a Class III dis- 
tribution point. 

After placing II Corps in the depot 
business, McNamara drove to Mers el 
Kebir and met tlie Quartermaster troops 
on the first follow-up convoy. The con- 
voy brought the remainder of the 85th 
Quartermaster Depot Supply Company, 
the 93d Quartermaster Railhead Com- 
pany, and elements of the 28th Quarter- 
master Truck Regiment, a unit destined 
to operate directly imder the II Corps 
G-4 Section. ^^ 



On 6 December the Mediterranean 
Base Section (MBS) was activated, and 
two days later it assumed supply responsi- 
bility for II Corps. Quartermaster in- 
stallations in operation at that time in- 
cluded five Class I points, the Class II 
warehouse at 66 Rue du Tetre, eleven 
Class III points, a salvage dump, a steri- 
lization and bath point, and a laundry 
service, attached to a medical depot. Mc- 
Namara had been responsible for the in- 
terment of 256 dead in a cemetery at Sidi 
Chami outside Oran. Years later he 
wrote with a degree of humility: "Vir- 
tually no co-ordination or advanced 
thinking had preceded or accompanied 
the Oran operation. Our Quartermaster 
units had no concepts of their mission 
until we met them at the pier and told 
them wliere to go, what to do, and often, 
how to do it." ^* 

Eastern Task Force repeated the con- 
fusion of the other landings. The mis- 
handling of landing craft at Algiers 
proved as characteristic of British as of 
American crews. Vessel losses on the first 
trip were estimated at an appalling 94 
percent — by far the highest in the Torch 
operation — with serious effects on land- 
ing schedules. Some boats became dis- 
abled while still in deep water, and the 
heavily equipped troops had no alterna- 
tive but to abandon ship and swim 
ashore. In the Sidi Ferruch sector the 
Commanding Officer, i68t]i Regimental 
Combat Team, beached his vessels seven 
miles from their destination, and one of 
his companies landed fifteen miles away. 
At all beaches, Army shore parties 
dumped cargo helter-skelter. They called 



" (1) Ltr, McNamara to Ramsey, 19 Nov 42. 
OQMG MED 319.25. (a) McNamara Memoir, ch. 
III. (3) Opns Rpt, ist QM Bn, 22 Nov 42; Unit 



Hist, 8r,th QM Depot Co. Both in Hist Br OQMG. 
(4) G-4 Jnl CTF, 8-10 Nov 42. Opns Rpt, CTF. 
^* McNamara Memoir, pp. 39-40. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



55 



for assistance from the naval crews. One 
lesson learned at Algiers influenced all 
subsequent Allied amphibious opera- 
tions. For political reasons already de- 
scribed, the landings there were spear- 
headed by the U.S. i68th Regimental 
Combat Team, although the rest of the 
Eastern Task Force was British. As sup- 
plies for U.S. and British luiits came 
ashore, it proved impossible to keep 
them separated. There was a clearly in- 
dicated need for separate beachhead 
service areas manned by U.S. and British 
service troops, even when the Allied 
forces to be supported were small and 
landing sites were immediately adja- 
cent. ^'^ 

Among the most widely echoed criti- 
cisms of Torch supply and one of im- 
mediate interest to the Quartermaster 
Corps was the charge that assault troops 
were overloaded with clothing and 
equipment. An overburdened soldier 
who became exhausted as he evaded or 
swam through deep water in his effort to 
get ashore was in serious danger of 
drowning. Some did. As McNamara re- 
marked: 

The enlisted men were physically over- 
burdened with food, ammunition, and ac- 
coutrements. The two C rations that he car- 
ried on his person as he went into Gran 
alone weighed 10 pounds. The bandoliers 
of ammunition, the clothing, gas masks, 
weapons, and other incidentals that the 
combat troops carried on their persons 
weighed an additional 122 pounds, making 
an aggregate of 132 pounds per man. This 
simply represented 110 pounds too many 
for a combat soldier to carry and enough 
to make anyone utterly useless. Moreover, 
each man had (either carried by him, or 



for him) two barracks bags each full of 
more equipment and clothing.^** 

Torch landings also provided the op- 
portunity to observe the adequacy of in- 
dividual items of Quartermaster Corps 
equipment. The 1941 field jacket proved 
neither waterproof nor sufficiently warm, 
while in contrast the armored force jacket 
quickly won the popidarity that it en- 
joyed throughout both the Mediter- 
ranean and European campaigns. Field 
shoes turned out to be too light, nondur- 
able, and nonwaterproof, and the leather 
sole was declared unsatisfactory under 
field conditions. The field range, M1937, 
quickly demonstrated its tendency to clog 
when operated with leaded gasoline. Sub- 
sistence, ammunition, medical, and other 
supplies had been packed in commercial- 
type cardboard and corrugated paper 
cartons which were neither waterproof 
nor resistant to breakage when dropped. 
Markings in English meant nothing to 
native handlers. Since rough handling 
was an inevitable part of an amphibious 
operation, the remedial measiues called 
for ^vere improved metal strappings, the 
utilization of sturdier hmiber, smaller 
and lighter packages, and universally 
recognized markings.^' 

Supply staffs being assembled in North 
Africa and Army Service Forces in Wash- 
ington had little time to analyze and cor- 
rect the deficiencies of the Torch land- 
ings. Planning for further amphibious 
operations against islands of the western 



^^ (1) Rpt, Hq SOS, 12 Feb 43, sub: Lessons From 
Amph Opns in North Africa, an. G, OQMG MED 
319.25. (2) Lessons From Opn Torch, 16 Dec 42. 
Overlord Preinvasion File, 465. 



'" McNamara Memoir, pp. 39-40. See also, ch. 
VH, below. 

" (1) Wilson Rpt, p. 27. (2) 1st Incl, Rpt, Patton 
to Eisenhower, 30 Dec 43, sub: Lessons Torch. 
Opns Rpt, WTF. (3) Ltr, CG 1st Inf Div to AFHQ, 
25 Dec 42, sub: Lessons from Opn Torch. Opns 
Rpt, Torch. (4) Ltr, Littlejohn to Scowden, 8 Apr 
43. OQMG ETO 457. 



56 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




Heavily Burdened Soldiers debarking at Phosphate Pier, Casablanca, 1943. 



Mediterranean got under way almost im- 
mediately, and planners in London drew 
on their own Torch support experience 
for lessons useful in planning the cross- 
Channel attack. Meanwhile the next 
phase of the Mediterranean war was 
marked by the first protracted engage- 
ment in World War \l of a U.S. army 
corps over wide stretches of a continental 
land mass. It was the first campaign in 
Avhich quartermasters would support an 
independent corps — a miniature army 
formation — of four divisions for any sus- 
tained period. 

Supporting II Corps in Tunisia 

Allied successes in Oran and Algiers 
gave rise to hopes for the early conquest 
of Tunisia. Recklessly outrunning their 
supply support, elements of Eastern Task 
Force crossed the Tunisian border on 



17 November and drove deep into the 
province. But the enemy quickly braced 
himself to defend the vital ports of 
Tunis and Bizerte. On 1 December the 
Germans began their counterattack 
which led to an Allied withdrawal to 
eastern Algeria and the postponement of 
the Allied offensive until after the New 
Year. From General Eisenhower's point 
of view, this delay would make possible 
the correction of an operational and 
logistical situation that markedly con- 
flicted with the doctrines advocated in 
War College textbooks.^* 

Toward the end of 1942, Fredendall 
assembled his staff in Algiers and outlined 
their next mission. Constituted as a task 
force of some 40,000 men, H Corps was 
to advance through Sbeitla toward the 
port of Sfax. D-day was tentatively set for 



^^ Howe, Northwest Africa, p. 330. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



57 



22 January 1943. Satin Task Force was 
built around the 1st Armored Division 
and the 20th Combat Engineer Regi- 
ment, plus tank destroyer, antiaircraft, 
and service troops. A small infantry and 
paratrooper force imder Col. Edson D. 
RafT was already operating in the Gafsa 
area. Captine of Sfax would frustrate the 
enemy's intention to keep open a coastal 
corridor for joining Rommel's German 
Africa Corps (Deiitsc/ies Afrika Korps) 
with the Tunisian defenders. Fredendall 
selected the comnumication center of 
Tebessa, an old Roman walled city 125 
miles east and south of Constantine, as his 
forward supply base. A highway and a 
single-track, narrow-gauge railroad par- 
allel to it joined Tebessa and Constan- 
tine. To its north, eighty miles a^vay, 
Tebessa was also linked by a road and 
meter-gauge rail line with Souk Ahras. 
At the time, British First Army had ad- 
ministrative control of the lines of com- 
numication in and aroimd Tebessa. ^° 

Early in January 1943, the II Corps 
staff moved to Constantine and put the 
last-minute touches on its supply plan. 
Planners estimated that a maximimi of 
250 long tons a day could be moved into 
Tebessa by rail. At the moment no trucks 
were available to increase the estimate. 
To stage supply forward from Oran or 
Algiers, both towns enjoying standard- 
gauge rail nets to the east, it would be 
necessary to transship supplies onto the 
narrow-gauge freight cars at Ouled 
Rahmoun, a rail hub a few miles south- 
east of Constantine. Oided Rahmoun 
was also connected by a standard-gauge 
line with the minor Mediterranean port 



" (1) McNaniara Memoir, ch. IV'. (2) Final Op 
erational Rpt, Satin Task Force. Opns Rpt, II 
Corps. 



of Philippeville, via Constantine. As a 
communications center, Ouled Rah- 
moun was destined to Ijecome the site of 
a new base section, later called Eastern 
Base Section, in support of II corps. 
From the minor port of Bone, Eastern 
Base Section coidd use a second standard- 
gauge line to Souk Ahras, and thence in- 
to Tebessa a narrow-gauge line. (See 
Map 2.) 

The II Corps accepted these com- 
numication restrictions because it ini- 
tially anticipated a short campaign. Two 
command decisions based on that premise 
affected McNamara's Quartermaster 
plans and operations. First, Satin Task 
Force was to receive only Class I and III 
supplies, excluding Class II and IV items. 
Second, Satin Force woidd move toward 
Tebessa after II Corps had finished its 
supply build-up. In other words the 
classic concept of supply would be re- 
versed: troops would move toward a 
stocked base and not supplies toward 
them. McNamara's first task was to or- 
ganize a ten-day reserve of food and en- 
gine fuels in Tebessa before 17 January. 
To provide services he was allotted a 
company each of railhead, depot supply, 
gasoline supply, service, and salvage 
troops, and a platoon each of bakery, 
laundry, fumigation and bath, and graves 
registration troops, plus a truck battalion 
less two companies. At authorized 
strength these units comprised about 
1,100 men to give support along a corps 
front of 1 10 miles. 

Headquarters II Corps became opera- 
tional on 8 January 1943 with a detach- 
ment under the assistant corps G-4, Lt. 
Col. Samuel L. Myers, consisting of one 
officer and two enlisted men each from 
the Quartermaster, Ordnance, Engineer, 
and Artillery Sections. Moving to 



58 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




QM Ration Dump at Tebessa, February 1943. 



Tebessa, Myers placed his command post 
in the grandstand office of the greyhound 
race track. Two companies of the 224th 
Quartermaster Service Battalion arrived 
on 9 January. Operated by the 85th 
Quartermaster Depot Supply Company, 
the ration dump at Tebessa, previously 
opened by the British, remained in a 
good-sized, empty, movie house. Seven 
miles to the east, in the only wooded ra- 
vine in the area, McNamara located his 
POL dump, operated by Company B, 
205th Gasoline Supply Battalion. Arriv- 
ing at the same time. Companies B and 



C, 28th Quartermaster Truck Regiment, 
organized a corps motor pool. 

By simply reconsigning freight cars of 
cased rations and gasoline containers as 
they arrived in Tebessa, McNamara's 
daily train moved to Sbeitla over the 100- 
mile rail line, traveling first northeast 
through Haidra, thence south to Kas- 
serine, then northeast to Sbeitla. On 9 
January a detachment opened a Class I 
and III railhead at Sbeitla in support of 
Combat Command B, 1st Armored Divi- 
sion, and other troops along the corps 
front. So far forward was the Sbeitla rail- 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



59 



head, in fact, that Capt. James H. Perry, 
commander of Company D, 244th Quar- 
termaster Service Battalion, reported 
that dayHght patrols "were the only thing 
between us and the Germans." -° 

Although careful attention was given 
to the inventories on hand at the Tebessa 
depot — and McNamara or his assistant 
met nightly with representatives of the 
corps G-4 and other technical services 
to consolidate such information — the em- 
phasis was on providing the fighting 
troops with their food, ammunition, and 
gasoline "when they wanted it and where 
they wanted it, with the least amount of 
paper work possible." While the daily 
telegram was maintained, it was used pri- 
marily as a reflection of the previous day's 
expenditures. If the troops asked for a 
certain number of rations, they were 
given the quantity without question, 
notwithstanding the prospect that they 
might subsequently abandon supplies in 
their bivouac areas and force quarter- 
master salvage service to expend extra 
effort in their recovery.-^ 

Build-up of supplies continued. Re- 
serves of POL increased daily while ra- 
tions mounted in tonnage rather than in 
balanced items. Still, McNamara never 
doubted that somewhere between Oran 
and Sbei'tla his ration shipments were 
"balanced according to a master menu." 
Because he failed to receive menus or any 



'^ (1) Ltr, McNamara to Brig Gen James L. 
Frink, OQMG Obsv, sub: Tunisian Campaign, ii 
Jun 43. OQMG MED 333. 1. (2) Quoted in ist Incl, 
Memo, OQM Fifth Army for TQMG, 21 May 43, 
sub: Talk to OQMG by Capt Perry. Sullivan 
Papers. (See Bibliographical Note.) 

"^ (1) Quoted in talk cited n. 20(2). (2) Rpt, Lt 
Col Norman P. Williams, 15 Mar 43, sub: Obsv at 
Forward Areas. Hist Br OQMG. (Hereafter cited 
as Williams Rpt.) (3) Rpt, Supply Status Red 
Vault, II Corps. G-4 Jnl II Corps, Mar-May 43. 



Other shipping documents, was unable to 
keep the ration cars of a train intact, and 
lacked troops to guard trains properly 
against pilferage, McNamara curtailed 
the issue of the B ration. Though clerks 
of the 85th Depot Supply Company at- 
tempted to balance issues, the troops clos- 
est to Tebessa were the only ones to en- 
joy the B ration with any regularity.^^ 

With Rommel approaching rapidly 
from Tripoli and with Fredendall's lines 
overstretched to prevent a junction of the 
two enemy forces, it became more and 
more apparent that the enemy was strong 
enough to make a dangerous thrust 
against II Corps. By the time that the 
French front was disrupted to the north 
of Satin Force, the attack on Sfax had 
already been canceled. On 17 January II 
Corps headquarters moved from Con- 
stantine to an olive grove one mile away 
from McNamara's gasoline dump near 
Tebessa. By now enemy pressure along 
the II Corps front had brought the 1st 
Infantry Division and the 168th Regi- 
ment of the 34th Infantry Division to 
Tebessa as reinforcements. Some 60,000 
men of Satin Force had to be supplied 
at the end of two single-track, narrow- 
gauge rail lines. 

To support this augmented force. East- 
ern Base Section under command of Col. 
Arthur W. Pence was constituted on 13 
February, and became operational at 
Constantine two weeks later. Col. Vere 
Painter was quartermaster of the new 
headquarters. 

The command situation meanwhile 
deviated more and more from orthodox 
lines as II Corps, under British First 
Army's operational control, was broken 
down into various task forces of regi- 



McNamara Memoir, p. 15. 



60 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



mental and battalion size. To support 
these formations, McNamara stretched 
his Quartermaster units very thinly to 
operate railheads at Gafsa, Maktar, and 
at Tebessa itself. On 14 February Gafsa 
was evacuated at night, and Feriana be- 
came the railhead, forty-five miles below 
Tebessa. The next day, the 2d Battalion, 
168th Infantry, walked into an ambush 
near Gafsa, suffering heavily and losing 
most of its equipment. About 150 men 
managed to escape and McNamara re- 
ceived orders from the corps chief of staff 
to re-equip the battalion not later than 
the 16th. 2^ His reaction is of some inter- 
est: 

This order in itself was a reflection on the 
staff work that had been done in the prepa- 
ration for the operation. . . . the entire 
campaign was based on the assumption that 
there would be no maintenance for loss re- 
placements of any Class II and IV equip- 
ment ... it was impossible to meet this 
request, without spending at least three or 
four days. The request was met, but it took 
just about this long in which to gather the 
supplies by truck from the rear and deliver 
them to this battalion. With the slightest 
degree of advance planning this situation 
would not have prevailed. ... it would 
have been simple to re-equip one battal- 
ion.-* 

The Commanding General, British 
First Army, on 15 February directed 
forces holding the high ground west of 
Fai'd to withdraw and begin preparing a 
defense of Kasserine gap. Having issued 
their supplies, Quartermaster troops at 
Maktar and Sbeitla pulled back immedi- 
ately into Tebessa. At Feriana the rail- 
head detachment had no time to evacuate 
50,000 gallons of gasoline, and the cache 



^ (i) Rpt cited n. 19(2). (2) McNamara Memoir, 

P- 53- 

^McNamara Memoir, p. 54. 



was ignited. Of all the times when Mc- 
Namara did not want to be in a favor- 
able supply position, the Kasserine pass 
crisis between 16 and 22 February 1943 
headed his list. Tebessa then contained 
a million rations, a large number of un- 
balanced B ration components, and 500,- 
000 gallons of gasoline. Ignoring rations 
and concentrating on the rail evacuation 
of packaged fuel, McNamara reduced his 
reserve at Tebessa to 100,000 gallons. Si- 
multaneously, he pulled his support units 
back to Ain Beida, thirty miles west of 
Tebessa.-^ 

By the end of February 1943, the enemy 
was slowly withdrawing to his original 
positions beyond Faid pass and at Gafsa, 
and the crisis had ended. Its aftermath 
marked the beginning of a new phase in 
Quartermaster operations. Throughout 
March, II Corps counterattacked over 
rough terrain toward the flank and rear 
of the Mareth Line. After 1 March 1943 
II Corps, with General Patton command- 
ing, operated directly under 18 Army 
Group. With three infantry divisions 
and an armored division present along 
the front, each with its organic Quarter- 
master staff and supply company. Quar- 
termaster support at corps level func- 
tioned more and more in normal staff 
commands. Yet, in adjusting their activ- 
ities to the new situation of this enlarged 
II Corps, staffs of corps and divisions alike 
encountered some trying problems of 
supply and salvage. 

All four divisions attacked simultane- 
ously along the front during the last week 
of March. The enemy had prepared his 
defensive positions well; some had been 
blasted out of solid rock. Terrain was a 
formidable obstacle. In climbing jagged 



Ibid., pp. 54-57. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



61 



and barren volcanic rock, the troops lit- 
erally tore service shoes and clothing to 
shreds. Patton noticed this. McNamara 
received an order to have 80 percent of 
the troops in new shoes within twenty- 
four hours. Thanks to Colonel Painter, 
80,000 pairs of shoes came forward even 
though QM Class II and IV allocations 
for II Corps did not officially exist dining 
the southern Tunisia Campaign. 

For two days, 23-24 March, the Ger- 
mans lainiched a heavy coimterattack 
against 1st Division positions southeast 
of El Guettar and the corps after action 
report stated: "The performance of the 
1st Division on this day 123d] was in 
keeping with the finest traditions of the 
United States Army." But supply short- 
ages existed and Lt. Col. Clarence M. 
Eymer, 1st Division's G-4, emerged from 
the battle with a file of unfilled requisi- 
tions. He invited the attention of Col. 
Robert W. Wilson, Corps G-4, to the 
Quartermaster portion of his list. Wilson 
confronted McNamara with Eymer's req- 
uisitions, repeating that 1st Division now 
considered itself unable to return to com- 
bat imless the items were received. For 
his part McNamara believed that this 
division was "probably better equipped 
with Quartermaster items than any other 
unit within Corps command." He fm- 
ther believed that Eymer's listings on 
QMC Requisition Form 400 had been 
copied directly from War Department 
Tables of Equipment. As sent to him, the 
forms were unnumbered, undated, and 
marked "special." Eymer refused to en- 
tertain McNamara's suggested substitu- 
tions for many items, including one un- 
der the heading of "Trumpet, Slide, T' 
to 'G,' " for a "Trumpet, 'E' to T.' " 
Sensitive to implied criticism in McNa- 
mara's proposals, Eymer accompanied 



Wilson into the chief of staff's office 
where misunderstandings on the requisi- 
tions were ironed out. 

The final battle around El Guettar in- 
volved large-scale artillery concentra- 
tions resulting in heavy ammunition ex- 
penditures. To meet resupply needs Mc- 
Namara's truck imits, which he con- 
trolled but did not command, were ex- 
panded from the two companies he had 
in January 1943 to twenty-two compa- 
nies near the end of March. Drivers of 
the units had been organized from the 
surplus boat regiment of the 1st En- 
gineer Special Brigade. A study of the 
communication net from Tebessa to the 
railheads at Feriana, Sbeitla, Gafsa, and 
El Guettar showed that the highways 
and railroad forward were limited in ca- 
pacity. Eight locomotives required re- 
pair, and only three were operable. In 
the evacuation of the Gafsa-Kasserine 
area, five railroad bridges had been de- 
stroyed, and the demolished high-arched 
bridge near Feriana — the construction 
of a bypass was out of the question — re- 
quired months for restoration.-" 

Because the distances between II 
Corps and its divisions were as great as 
those between corps and Eastern Base 
Section, the one armored and three in- 
fantry divisions strained their own per- 
sonnel and transportation resources to 
move considerable amounts of supplies. 
When the fighting began at El Guettar, 
the 1st Armored Division moved from 
Tebessa to Gafsa and Maknassy, but 



-" (1) Rpt, Opti Red Vault, II Corps Opns Rpt, 
15 Mar-io Apr 43. (2) Quoted in McNamara 
Memoir, p. 63. (3) Williams Rpt. (4) Brig Gen 
James L. Frink, QMC, Report of Inspection: South 
America, North Africa, Europe, 21 May-29 J^"^ 
1943. AG (QM) 333.1. (Hereafter cited as Frink 
Rpt.) 



62 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



corps was only able to locate forward 
dumps at Bou Chebka, 70 miles from 
the center of the division's supply area. 
Because of poor roads, heavy rain, and 
congested traffic, the 140-mile round trip 
to the division supply point took twenty- 
four hours. Since corps could not pro- 
vide closer support or attach additional 
transport, the quartermaster of the ar- 
mored division formed two provisional 
truck companies from unit baggage 
trucks and assigned incoming replace- 
ments to the task of moving rations, 
gasoline, and ammunition closer to the 
combat units. 

The 1st Infantry Division fared no 
better. Since the Class I supply point at 
Gafsa was initially stocked only with C 
rations, divisional trucks went as far 
back as Tebessa when B rations were 
available. Shortages of clothing and 
equipment continued to mount, for al- 
though requisitions were now author- 
ized for Class II and IV supply, tonnage 
allocations from Eastern Base Section 
proved inadequate for the maintenance 
of the four divisions plus special troops. 
The absence of certain Quartermaster 
services was an additional handicap for 
the forward elements. A shoe repair 
section had not moved east of Algiers 
until the southern Tunisia Campaign 
was well under way. Located far from 
Tebessa, the 1st Infantry Division, shift- 
ing for itself, contracted for the services 
of a French cobbler in Le Kef. In late 
February the division obtained the serv- 
ices of a sterilization and bath unit, but 
laundry facilities were unavailable be- 
fore March. -^ 



^ (1) Memo, Asst G-4 II Corps for G-4 II Corps, 
8 Apr 43, sub: Info Obtained at EBS re QM and 
Ord Equip. II Corps Opns Rpt, 15 Mar-ir, Apr 43. 
(2) Ltr, CG 1st Armd Div to CG NATOUSA, 26 



Nevertheless, additional service units 
were joining II Corps at Tebessa. As 
early as 8 February, the 2d Platoon, 
Company B, 95th Quartermaster Battal- 
ion (Bakery), had begun baking for II 
Corps, producing a daily average of 
24,192 pounds of fresh bread during the 
remainder of the southern Tunisia Cam- 
paign. At the same time, 1st Platoon, 
Company A, 301st Quartermaster Bat- 
talion, opened a fumigation and bath 
point, using water from a stream in the 
vicinity of the POL dump. During 
March approximately 400 men per day 
enjoyed this service. Additional support 
was provided by the shoe repair section, 
218th Quartermaster Company (Salvage 
Repair), which processed some 250 pairs 
of shoes daily, and by the 1st Platoon, 
Company C, 61st Quartermaster Battal- 
ion (Laundry), which handled some 
8,000 pieces daily. 

As the southern Tunisian fighting 
drew to a close, McNamara was in the 
midst of two activities that demanded 
more and more attention: salvage col- 
lection and graves registration. Early in 
March 1943 the 226th Salvage Collecting 
Company arrived at Tebessa. The unit 
policed the roads after the Kasserine 
crisis, retrieving discarded or abandoned 
materiel, both friendly and enemy. Mc- 
Namara believed that his salvage oper- 
ation had gone beyond his mission, and 
later commented: 

The mere fact that a vehicle becomes 
worn out or a gas-mask gets a hole in it 
does not necessarily mean that it automati- 
cally becomes salvage. No item of supply 
becomes salvage until it has been declared 
useless for any purpose by the appropriate 
service in question [McNamara's italics]. 

Jun 43, sub: Adequacy of Pers and Transport for 
Supply of a Div in Combat. Littlejohn Collection. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



63 



Then, when it is relegated to a junk-heap, 
it becomes salvage and becomes a Quarter- 
master responsibility. In any case, we did 
the scavenging for all the services, brought 
back all types of items of supply to our own 
salvage dump, and then they sent repre- 
sentatives there to go thru the items. . . .-* 

Far from finished when II Corps came 
out of the line was the work of its burial 
parties, consisting of a single platoon of 
the 47th Quartermaster Graves Registra- 
tion Company and a salvage collecting 
company. At Tebessa, a II Corps ceme- 
tery had been opened in early January. 
By the end of March the platoon had 
supervised the burial of 190 dead, which 
was about 80 percent of II Corps' re- 
ported dead at that time, and in mid- 
April it was assigned to Eastern Base 
Section. 

Pinched out of its own sector after the 
juncture of the British First and Eighth 
Armies, II Corps received a new mission 
from 18 Army Group on 10 April 1943- 
With Maj. Gen. Omar N. Bradley com- 
manding, II Corps — 100,000 men strong 
— was given the objective of Bizerte. 
The movement out of the Tebessa area 
to the new assembly point northeast of 
Bedja did not involve extraordinarily 
long distances, only about 140 miles. 
But it was, nonetheless, a challenge to 
II Corps' ability to exploit the capabili- 
ties of twenty-two truck companies over 
an imperfect road net, amidst an atmos- 
phere of secrecy. Necessarily, the move 
cut across British First Army's supply 
lines. Of the two main routes selected, 
both originating at Tebessa, the most 
direct led just inside the Tunisian bor- 
der through Le Kef, a main British 



^ (i) II Corps G-4 Jnl, Mar-May 43. (2) Mc- 
Namara Memoir, p. 59. 



transportation center, to Souk el Arba 
and Tabarka. The other highway ran 
inside Algeria through Souk Ahras, and 
eastward to Tabarka. To avoid conges- 
tion at Le Kef, most convoys followed 
the route through Algeria. 

Co-ordination of the movement was 
worked out among officers of the British 
Movement Control Office, corps G-4, 
and McNamara's assistant quartermas- 
ter, who was in charge of transportation. 
Because speed and surprise were essen- 
tial, supply convoys were sandwiched be- 
tween the convoys carrying troops in or- 
der that the infantrymen could go into 
action immediately upon their arrival 
without waiting for staged supply. With 
a minimum of paper work and a con- 
stant check on cross traffic, II Corps 
made the movement — one of the first 
large marches of the war — in four days. 
More than 12,000 vehicles and 94,000 
troops had arrived in the northern sec- 
tor of Tunisia by 23 April 1943- 

Army Group meanwhile, selected 
Bedja on the sector line between II 
Corps and British First Army as Brad- 
ley's supply center, with railheads at 
Sidi Mhimech, a few miles to the north- 
east, and at Djebel Abiod, thirty-five 
miles farther north. Behind II Corps, 
Eastern Base Section planned to estab- 
lish a ration depot at Bone, a small port 
eighty miles west of Bedja, and forward 
Class III dumps at the minor ports of 
La Calle and Tabarka. Class II and IV 
supplies would come from Algeria by 
rail. Having been denied the use of a 
southerly highway into Bedja from Bone 
because the British utilized it, the II 
Corps' road net was restricted to a coast- 
al route from Algiers, Philippeville, 
Bone, La Calle, and Tabarka, to Bedja, 
thence pointing northeast toward Ma- 



64 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



teur. By rail, II Corps shared with the 
British the capacity of a line from Bone, 
via Souk Ahras, to Bedja. 

On 15 April Eastern Base Section was 
notified that the initial Quartermaster 
requirements amounted to 948 long tons 
of Class II supplies and 1,256 long tons 
of Class III supplies. D-day had been set 
for 23 April and despite the limited ca- 
pacity of the lines of communication 
Eastern Base Section exerted every pos- 
sible effoit to meet the requirements. 
Supplies were not only sent overland by 
truck from Bone, but they were also trans- 
ferred onto landing craft which skirted 
the coast eastward as far as the beach at 
Tabarka. Here the truck companies 
backed their vehicles into the shallow 
water and supplies moved directly from 
boats to trucks."" 

The first daily train from Eastern Base 
Section to Bedja carried 250 tons of sup- 
plies. Within this tonnage McNamara 
had ordered balanced B rations for 
50,000 men. When the freight train ar- 
rived, it had sixteen carloads of peanut 
butter, a car full of crackers, a case of 
grapefruit, and a sack of flour. McNa- 
mara used the incident to impress on 
Eastern Base Section the necessity to bal- 
ance rations. Because the next supply 
trains were almost a week late, the 
troops lacked balanced B rations, even 
in the comparatively quiet days before 
the offensive, and gasoline was received 
only in cumbersome 55-gallon drums. 
When Tabarka as well as La Calle be- 



gan to receive supplies for the support 
of the new American sector, there was 
imcertainty as to which of the dumps 
could supply the units from one day to 
the next.^° 

By the evening of 22 April, II Corps' 
supply targets had been met, except for 
rations and a few types of ammunition. 
To follow the advance, corps G-4 was 
soon trying to obtain one himdred addi- 
tional 2 1/2-ton trucks for each of the for- 
ward divisions. As corps was forced to 
establish new supply points directly be- 
hind the divisions. Eastern Base Section 
took over the Djebel Abiod dumps and 
pushed daily trains beyond Bedja so that 
gasoline and rations coidd be issued 
from forward railheads. When the Ger- 
mans siurendered on 8 May, Painter had 
already taken over the operation of the 
ration dinnp and gasoline point at Mi- 
dland, a town five miles north of Ma- 
teur. He also had inherited the corps' 
salvage operations, and continued the 
burying of 421 known dead in the II 
Corps cemetery at El Aouina, near the 
major airfield between Tunis and Bi- 
zerte. Painter's graves registration teams 
still had to locate and identify 877 miss- 
ing troops. By 8 May McNamara re- 
tained control over the corps motor pool 
only.^^ 

The surrender arrangements made 
new demands on Quartermaster truck 
companies. By 9 May, II Corps had ac- 
quired a total of 41,836 prisoners of war, 



^ (1) Final Rpt Red Vault, Opns to Capture 
Bizerte, II Corps Opns Rpt, 16 Apr-13 May 43. 
(2) General Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier's Story 
(New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1951), pp. 
73-74. (3) McNamara Memoir, pp. 65-69. (4) 
March Schedule, 18 Apr 43, G-4 Jnl II Corps, 16 
Apr-14 May 43. 



^ (1) Rpt, Asst Div QM 1st Inf Div, 30 May 43. 
Sullivan Papers. (2) Memo, G— 4 II Corps for G— 4 
1st Armd Div, 21 Apr 43; G-4 II Corps, Notes Mtg 
at La Calle, 23 Apr 43. Both in II Corps Opns Rpt, 
16 Apr-13 May 43. 

^ (1) Final Rpt Red Vault cited n. 29. (2) Ltr, 
G— 4 II Corps to CofS II Corps, 25 Apr 43, sub: Sup- 
ply Plan for Future Opns. G-4 Jnl II Corps, 16 
Apr-14 May 43. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



65 



including 35,934 Germans, 5,861 Italians, 
and 41 men of other nationalities. Of 
these, corps hospitals registered 1,128 
wounded. Prior to the surrender the 
evacuation of prisoners to Eastern Base 
Section's compounds had proceeded in 
an orderly manner, imposing no undue 
strain on trucking facilities. But on 11 
May 26,000 prisoners had to be moved 
to the barbed-wire enclosure at Mi- 
dland. Fortunately for this mass assem- 
bly the docile prisoners co-operated 
splendidly, moving toward Michaud on 
foot or riding in automobiles, or on bi- 
cycles or motorcycles, and asking only 
directions to the compounds. 

For food, McNamara immediately be- 
gan hauling captured stocks from the 
estimated 1,600 tons of subsistence taken 
at Ferryville. This was sufficient, he be- 
lieved, to keep a million men fed for one 
day. Yet he knew the stocks were not 
balanced. Within their barbed-wire en- 
closures the prisoners organized their 
own camps and arranged among them- 
selves for their own messing details. 
Quartermasters delivered German field 
kitchens to the compounds and, together 
with the food, turned them over to the 
camp commanders or to their designated 
agents. Water for 40,000 prisoners was a 
problem that soon overshadowed McNa- 
mara's subsistence difficulties. He solved 
it by moving from Mateur to Michaud 
a number of wooden winery vats, twenty 
feet in diameter, which had been cut in 
the form of half-barrels, open at the cen- 
ter. Once the huge vessels were in place, 
engineers filled them with water from 
750-gallon tank trucks and the prisoners 
had water for cooking and bathing.^- 

Having turned over support duties to 



Eastern Base Section, Headquarters, II 
Corps, during the next fortnight moved 
westward by truck to the attractive city 
of Relizane, located on a good highway 
about sixty miles southeast of Oran. On 
20 May 1943 McNamara learned of his 
next Quartermaster mission — Sicily. For 
this operation II Corps for administra- 
tive and tactical control was placed un- 
der Seventh Army, with Patton com- 
manding, and with headquarters at Mos- 
taganem, about thirty miles from Reli- 
zane. Taking elements of his former I 
Armored Corps, Patton constituted a 
provisional corps under Maj. Gen. Geof- 
frey Keyes, which, together with Brad- 
ley's II Corps, was to execute the Amer- 
ican role in the Husky operation. Or- 
ganizationally, this meant that a new tac- 
tical quartermaster and his staff, former- 
ly attached to I Armored Corps, ap- 
peared in the field for the first time at 
army level. Since 12 February 1943 Col. 
Clyde Massey, the new Seventh Army 
quartermaster, had been co-ordinating 
plans with a new team of pipeline quar- 
termasters in Oran.^^ 

Neiu Qiiar term aster Teams Organize 
in North Africa 

Quartermaster service continued to 
be handled by the staffs and service 
troops of the three separate task forces 
for many weeks after the Torch land- 
ings. But as operations shifted toward 
Tunisia, such a division of effort in a 
completely decentralized system de- 
manded early revision. With a gravely 



™ McNamara Memoir, pp. 70-72. 



^ Report of Operations of the United States Sev- 
enth Army in the SiciHan Campaign, 10 July— 17 
August 1943, published September 1943 by the Staff 
of the Seventh Army. (Hereafter cited as Rpt of 
Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign.) 



66 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



deficient support organization, II Corps 
had advanced into southern Tunisia in 
late January 1943. Adequate support for 
this advance demanded changes not only 
in the Allied command structure but 
also in the American SOS. 

The advance echelon of AFHQ 
moved to Algiers on 25 November 1942, 
and as the headquarters grew its special 
staff sections gradually assumed control 
of operations in the Atlantic Base Sec- 
tion (Casablanca) and Mediterranean 
Base Section (Oran), the support eche- 
lons which had replaced the SOS of 
Western and Center Task Forces. Dur- 
ing the next two months Colonel Ram- 
sey's AFHQ Quartermaster Section, con- 
sisting of nineteen officers and enlisted 
men, American and British, was the only 
office with authority to co-ordinate 
Quartermaster operations in North Af- 
rica. Ramsey drew supplies from both 
U.S. and U.K. bases until early Febru- 
ary 1943. During this period his enu- 
merated functions ran the gamut of tra- 
ditional Quartermaster activities, in- 
cluding responsibility for motor trans- 
port, construction supplies, and labor 
procurement. Yet this was intended to 
be only a short-lived arrangement, pend- 
ing the organization of an American 
theater of operations and the inaugura- 
tion of a separate supply channel. 

Constitution of the North African 
Theater of Operations, United States 
Army (NATOUSA), was announced on 
4 February 1943 and all U.S. resources 
within its boundaries passed from the 
control of the Commanding General, 
ETOUSA, on that date. Eight days later 
NATOUSA was further developed by 
the establishment of the Communica- 
tions Zone, NATOUSA, a purely ad- 
ministrative command without support 



functions. For the time being, these or- 
ganizations were really additional offi- 
ces within AFHQ, set up to handle Gen- 
eral Eisenhower's purely American ad- 
ministrative responsibilities. Eisenhow- 
er himself was Commanding General, 
NATOUSA, and his deputy theater 
commander. Brig. Gen. Everett S. 
Hughes, also functioned as Command- 
ing General, COMZ NATOUSA. Simi- 
larly, all other important American offi- 
cers within the AFHQ structure were as- 
signed dual functions with a minimum 
of extra personnel to assist them. 

NATOUSA expanded its administra- 
tive structure on 15 February 1943, when 
Services of Supply (SOS NATOUSA) 
was constituted and placed under the 
command of Brig. Gen. Thomas B. Lar- 
kin, who immediately began assembling 
his staff at Oran. All supply activities 
and service personnel pertaining to, as- 
signed or attached to Mediterranean 
Base Section, Atlantic Base Section, and 
Eastern Base Section passed under Lar- 
kin's control insofar as their supply 
functions were concerned. In all other 
respects the base sections remained un- 
der the direct command of General 
Hughes. In the process of these rapid 
transitions, Middleswart left Casablanca 
on 23 February and became Larkin's 
quartermaster at Oran as II Corps as- 
sumed the offensive in southern Tu- 
nisia.^* 

When NATOUSA was constituted, 
following the lead of G-4, AFHQ, Ram- 



** (i) Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 
p. 24. (2) Hist of AFHQ, pt. H (Dec 42-Dec 43). 
sec. I, pp. 196—99. (3) Remarks to Staff and Com- 
mand Conference, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, by 
The Quartermaster General, Maj. Gen. Thomas B. 
Larkin, 17 May 1946, QMR XXVI (July-August 
1946), 35-40. (4) Larkin became a major general 
on 28 April 1943. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



67 



sey divested himself of the responsibility 
for Quartermaster supply and mainte- 
nance operations for U.S. Army forces. 
Although the NATOUSA activation or- 
der had named him Chief, Quartermas- 
ter Section, NATOUSA, a title he held 
throughout the remainder of 1943, he 
received no extra personnel and was 
given no major extra duties. His Amer- 
ican staff worked within the framework 
of AFHQ and all organizational charts 
identified the section by the symbols 
"AFHQ/NATOUSA (American)." 

To interpret his mission and formu- 
late policy, Ramsey found himself han- 
dling his staff duties at two separate lev- 
els. As Chief, Quartermaster Section, 
NATOUSA, he defined the Quarter- 
master mission for the American thea- 
ter commander through the G-4, 
NATOUSA, and simultaneously at the 
AFHQ level he performed the same 
fimction for the Allied command 
through G-4, AFHQ. Specifically in his 
dual capacity Ramsey made recommen- 
dations on the levels of Class I, II, and 
IV supplies that should be reached in 
the theater. After the close of the south- 
ern Timisia Campaign, he exercised 
special staff supervision over the disposi- 
tion of captured enemy materiel and 
battlefield clearance. For the U.S. 
forces in the theater, he recommended 
the approval of special issues of Quar- 
termaster supplies from American re- 
sources to Allied forces. In doing so, he 
maintained close liaison with Middle- 
swart in order to determine the stocks in 
American depots. After AFHQ created 
a Petroleum Section, Ramsey's Class III 
responsibilities were confined to staff 
matters concerning coal and coal prod- 
ucts. Eventually, problems involving 
captured materiel and battlefield clear- 



ance grew in size and scope and a special 
Captured Enemy Materiel Technical 
Committee, AFHQ, took over the func- 
tion. Meantime, Ramsey himself at- 
tended meetings of sundry AFHQ 
boards and committees, including the 
Petroleum Section, AFHQ, the North 
African Economic Board, and the Joint 
Rearmament Committee, which formu- 
lated policy for rebuilding the French 
Army.^^ 

Originally, neither Ramsey nor Mid- 
dleswart had any direct responsibility 
for local procurement. Both the West- 
ern and Center Task Forces had come to 
North Africa with officers assigned to 
local procurement duties but it became 
quickly apparent that a centralized agen- 
cy was needed if the Americans and 
British were to have equal access to 
available resources. On 30 January 1943, 
AFHQ set up a General Purchasing 
Board modeled after the organization 
established in London six months earli- 
er. During 1943, the board was manned 
by both American and British officers 
and was responsible for procurement for 
both forces. Because certain North Af- 
rican manufactures were very scarce, a 
separate Local Products Allocation 
Committee was formed to apportion 
such items. Locally produced foodstuffs 
were soon placed on the list of con- 
trolled stocks, and both Ramsey and 
Middleswart became members of this 
committee.^" 



=» (1) Hist of AFHQ, pt. II. (2) Frink Rpt, ex- 
hibit B. 

*• (1) Annual Rpt of ASF for Fiscal Year 1943, 
pp. 269-70. (2) Logistical History of NATOUSA- 
MTOUSA, chs. XIII, XIV. (3) Leighton and 
Coakley, Global Logistics, 1940-1943, ch XVII. (4) 
Robert VV. Konier, Civil Affairs and Military Gov- 
ernment in the Mediterranean Theater, ch. I. 
OCMH. 



68 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Initially, the headquarters designated 
SOS NATOUSA had supply functions 
only, without administrative authority, 
and thus differed markedly from the 
SOS headquarters recently established 
in the United Kingdom. It was decided 
that supply decisions for NATOUSA 
could be better made at the higher, 
Allied, level through the G-4 staffs. 
Thus there was no true communications 
zone and Eisenhower elected to use his 
NATOUSA deputy. General Hughes, 
to co-ordinate the logistical plans at the 
AFHQ and NATOUSA levels with the 
supply operations of SOS NATOUSA. 
This was considered necessary because 
an additional co-ordination with the 
British logistical effort was also carried 
on at the AFHQ level. Effective co-op- 
eration between Hughes and Maj. Gen. 
Humfrey M. Gale, the chief administra- 
tive officer (British) of AFHQ, demand- 
ed that Hughes be able to speak with the 
voice of authority regarding U.S. service 
troops and supplies.^' 

Thus General Larkin was made re- 
sponsible for supply, but he was not giv- 
en full authority of command over the 
base sections and service troops. For ex- 
ample, he was not authorized to transfer 
personnel between base sections without 
theater approval or to engage in signal 
communications, hospitalization, evacu- 
ation, and transportation. Similarly, this 
situation placed base section command- 
ers in the difficult position of reporting 
to Larkin on matters of supply, distri- 
bution, construction, and maintenance, 
and to the deputy theater commander 
on all other matters. Nevertheless, SOS 



*^ (1) Howe, Nortlnvest Africa, p. 496. (2) Logis- 
tical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 24. (3) 
The ETOUSA solution of this problem is discussed 
in Chapter IX, below. 



NATOUSA mounted the Sicilian and 
Italian invasions and established addi- 
tional base sections in the western Medi- 
terranean to support continuing opera- 
tions and secondary activities on Corsica 
and Sardinia. As the various technical 
service staffs formed in Oran, they con- 
stituted an advisory or planning body 
directly under Larkin, without the ben- 
efit of an intermediate general staff and 
its traditional "G" officers. Larkin per- 
mitted his staff full use of his name 
in communications with AFHQ and 
NATOUSA and allowed them to deal 
informally with their opposite numbers 
at higher or lower headquarters. 

When Middleswart's Quartermaster 
responsibilities were subsequently enu- 
merated within SOS NATOUSA, he had 
the following staff functions: first, the 
consolidation of base section stock re- 
ports and preparation of the theater- 
wide requisitions for submission to sup- 
porting agencies in the United States, 
and occasionally to the United King- 
dom; second, the maintenance of con- 
trol over stock levels for the theater and 
the proper distribiuion of Class I, II, 
and IV stocks among the base sections; 
third, the co-ordination of base section 
activities pertaining to sales stores, laun- 
dries, and other quartermaster services; 
fourth, the supervision and co-ordina- 
tion of policies for graves registration, 
salvage and scrap, and personal effects 
and baggage throughout the theater; 
fifth, the maintenance of records of serv- 
ice imits, including the status of their 
equipment, which were assigned or at- 
tached to base sections; and sixth, the 
supervision and co-ordination of subsis- 
tence procurement activities. As an SOS 
supervisory technical staff, the Quarter- 
master Section issued operating proce- 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



69 



dures, technical manuals, ration menus, 
and special circulars as guides for quar- 
termasters and QM imits in base sec- 
tions, and through frequent inspections 
checked on the execution of its technical 
instructions.^^ 

On the eve of the Husky opera- 
tion, the Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, working on its first support 
mission, consisted of an executive office 
and six divisions, concerned respectively 
with administration, planning, Class I, 
Class II and IV supply, salvage, and 
graves registration. Middleswart's organi- 
zation chart showed that his first and fore- 
most mission was to supply clothing and 
equipment to the groimd forces, and ad- 
ditionally to provide such items as ra- 
tions, kitchen and mess equipment, bar- 
racks and office equipment, and station- 
ery common to the ground and air 
forces. In terms of numbers the supply 
divisions absorbed most of his person- 
nel. At this time NYPE sent convoys 
periodically to each of the three base 
sections, which in turn were in direct 
support of the combat troops.^" Because 
the base section depots were never far 
from the sea, Quartermaster distribution 
was no major problem as long as ship- 
ping was available. Yet one bad feature 
of this system hobbled Quartermaster 
supply. If convoys or individual ships 
containing ammunition as well as ra- 
tions and clothing were diverted from 
their original port of call to another in 
an emergency, the Quartermaster Sec- 



^ (i) Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 
p. 24. (2) Office Memo 4, OQM SOS NATOUSA, 
14 Nov 43, sub: Orgn of QM Sec. Sullivan Papers. 

^ In May 1943, 295,338 measurement tons of QM 
cargo left the United States for North Africa. All 
except 38,523 tons went to .Algerian ports. Monthly 
Progress Reports (MPR), 1943-45, Statistics Br, 
Water Div, OCT. 



tion had to locate coastal shipping in 
order to reroute Quartermaster supplies 
to their original destination. In a com- 
modity-type organization, each supply 
division took care of requisitioning, 
storage, and distribution for its own 
categories of QMC supplies. 

Middleswart's biggest problem during 
the summer of 1943 was that of person- 
nel, both individuals and service units. 
He did not control the assignment of 
Quartermaster officers from base sections 
to his staff. At the end of the first month 
he had obtained only 8 officers and 18 
enlisted men of an authorized strength 
of 13 officers and 24 enlisted men. Most 
quartermasters remained with their or- 
ganizations when the entire group leap- 
frogged to another support area. In Oc- 
tober 1943, by which time American 
forces were lodged on the Italian penin- 
sula and his supply responsibilities had 
grown from 3 to 7 base sections and base 
commands, he still had only 6 officers 
more than when his section was created. 
He intimated to Larkin that only bu- 
reaucratic obstacles prevented the assign- 
ment of talented officers from the de- 
creasing operations in Atlantic and East- 
ern Base Sections. Larkin pointed out 
that manning table increases were out of 
the question. Plans were afoot to move 
SOS headquarters to the Italian penin- 
sula, and it was not feasible to enlarge 
the QM Section. Improvement was slow, 
and Middleswart complained repeatedly 
to Littlejohn of the predicament which 
forced him to adjust his operations to an 
expanding program with a "pitifully in- 
adequate staff." These difficulties take 
on added significance when they are re- 
lated to the growth of tactical formations 
from two small task forces of 40,000 men 
each in November 1942 (Torch), to an 



70 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



independent corps of 100,000 men (Tu- 
nisia), to a miniature army of two corps 
(Sicily), to an army of three corps (Italy) 
and to an army group with two armies 
(southern France), in successive, rapid 
stages.**^ 

Since a larger staff was impossible, a 
more efficient one was imperative. Un- 
suitable officers were transferred by vari- 
ous expedients, including reclassifica- 
tion. Energetic company-grade officers 
were put in charge of personnel, supply, 
salvage, and administration while Col. 
Mark V. Brunson, executive officer of the 
QM Section, gave a good deal of time to 
their training. Operational planning was 
a constant source of worry to Middle- 
swart. Though detailed strategic deci- 
sions did not reach his level, he knew 
about the middle of May that the inva- 
sion of Sicily was not very far off. This 
was his second amphibious undertaking 
and he looked about for quartermasters 
of Western Task Force days. After re- 
peated calls, Middleswart secured the 
services of Colonel Poore, who could be 
spared from his G-4 duty with Atlantic 
Base Section, to head a new Planning 
Division. Poore worked closely with offi- 
cers of the task forces who were sent to 
Oran to work out the details of the 
Husky operation. Using maintenance al- 
lowances based on recent experiences, 
Middleswart and Poore prepared requi- 
sitions for 130,000 troops for the period 
D-day to D plus 30, and submitted them 
as advance requisitions on the North Af- 
rican base sections.*^ 



" (1) Hist of COMZ NATOUSA, pts. I, IV. OCMH. 
(Quotation is from Part I.) (2) Cirs 22 and .79. 
Hq SOS NATOUSA, 13 Jul 43, 29 Dec 43. (3) Ltrs, 
Middleswart to Littlejohn, 31 Oct 43, 26 Nov 43. 
Hist Br OQMG. (4) Staff Memo 54. Hq SOS 
NATOUSA, 1 1 Sep 43. 



Once the plans were on paper, Mid- 
dleswart placed members of his staff on 
temporary duty with the base sections. 
As liaison officers, Poore and his assis- 
tants moved around the ports and depots 
to check on Seventh Army's requisitions. 
After the assault convoy had gone to sea, 
the liaison officers dropped their expe- 
diter roles and prepared to go to Sicily 
as observers. Once the Husky forces 
were securely lodged on the island, the 
Planning Division transferred support 
of the operation to the regular supply 
branches and shifted its attention to the 
next amphibious operation, Italy. *^ 

As an alternative to Husky, the Plan- 
ning Branch also computed require- 
ments for an invasion of Sardinia (Oper- 
ation Brimstone), but this project was 
discarded in favor of an assault on 
the Italian mainland (Operation Ava- 
lanche) in the vicinity of Salerno. Again 
NATOUSA staffs worked with a Fifth 
Army panel, which temporarily moved 
to Algiers. Consisting of several Quar- 
termaster officers and enlisted men, this 
group prepared requisitions for the first 
sixty days of supply in Italy, and pre- 
pared explicit instructions as to packag- 
ing and marking, ports of loading, dates, 
strength, and designations. If time per- 
mitted, requisitions were submitted to 
NYPE for direct shipment to Italy, there- 
by eliminating double handling and out- 
loading at North African ports. Poore's 



"■ (1) Poore Journal, Mar, Aug 43. Poore Papers. 
(2) Rpt of Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign. 

*^ (i) Littlejohn sent Middleswart copies of the 
revised 100,000-man plan and it was used in Husky 
as well as subsequent plans. Ltr, Middleswart to 
Littlejohn, 21 Jul 43. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. 
XIV, item 55. (2) Rpt Opns SUSA in Sicilian 
Campaign. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



71 



planning work involved something more 
than supply. His section drafted Quar- 
termaster Tables of Organization and 
Equipment for Italian prisoner of war 
units. Hapless prisoners of the Tunisia 
Campaign were a definite liability in 
policed compounds, but an asset in 
Quartermaster support units under the 
supervision of U.S. cadres. Once ap- 
proved by the War Department and con- 
stituted with Italian laborers, the tables 
provided manpower to fill gaps in the 
ranks of 3,800 Quartermaster troops that 
were earmarked for Naples.*^ 

The widening scope of military ac- 
tivity was reflected in the second re- 
organization of Quartermaster Section, 
SOS NATOUSA, on 18 September 1943. 
Increased record keeping for support 
units necessitated the creation of a sep- 
arate Personnel Branch. As a result of 
Tunisian evacuation and burial experi- 
erlce, graves registration policies and 
organization were reviewed and changes 
made. Col. Thomas R. Howard became 
chief of the Graves Registration Branch 
and also served as the theater graves 
registration officer. 

With the introduction of special serv- 
ices in the theater, a separate supply 
branch was set up to meet the needs of 
the entertainment, recreation, and edu- 
cation programs. With more than 3,000 
nurses present by this time, and with the 
first members of the Women's Army 
Corps reaching North Africa in summer 
1943, Middleswart designated a clothing 
supply subunit to handle their special 



needs. A new Baggage Group within 
the Salvage Branch supervised the dispo- 
sition of effects, located owners, and 
stored property belonging to interned or 
captured personnel. Because the Quar- 
termaster Section had experienced sup- 
ply shortages and service inadequacies in 
the Sicilian campaign, Middleswart reor- 
ganized his General Supplies Group, sub- 
dividing it into four new units. 

No matter how well his section was 
organized, Middleswart could always ex- 
pect some higher or adjacent command 
to demand an explanation of why some- 
thing did not proceed according to plan. 
Near the end of the Sicilian campaign, 
he anticipated a formal reprimand be- 
cause of failure to co-ordinate. His plan- 
ners had set up an air shipment consist- 
ing of 31,000 bottles of halezone tablets, 
a disinfectant for water. Colonel Poore 
estimated the shipment at three-quarters 
of a ton. The planners turned the ship- 
ping details over to supply quartermas- 
ters, who refigured weights and cubes as 
given in a new manual. In the process, 
someone selected a wrong set of figures, 
and the new estimate reached four tons. 
To lift 31,000 bottles, the air transport 
commander ordered out two cargo 
planes. When the Quartermaster depot 
truck arrived at planeside, the load 
weighed in at 1,600 pounds, and a single 
plane departed for Sicily. The incident 
was written up in detail in a circular 
letter, and it became a stern warning for 
all sections to perfect their staff co-ordi- 
nation." 

After the invasion of Italy a third reor- 
ganization of Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, was announced on 12 No- 



*^ (1) Col Joseph P. Sullivan, Fifth Army Quarter- 
master History, pp. 7-18. (Hereafter cited as Sul- 
livan MS.) Hist Br OQMG. (2) Poore Journal, 12, 
23 Aug 43. 



** Ltr, Poore to Lt Col Frederick W. Dennis, Jr., 
QM ABS, 14 Aug 43. Poore Papers. 



72 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



vember 1943. Middles wart abolished his 
Planning Branch, placing important as- 
pects of this function with each of his 
supply branches in order to have no 
break in their planning and supervisory 
responsibilities. Other aspects of plan- 
ning were centered in a Control Branch, 
headed by Maj. Ramon Wyer. This new 
branch exercised staff supervision over 
transportation, storage, and distribution, 
which had previously been controlled 
along commodity lines. The new Con- 
trol Branch reflected Middleswart's grow- 
ing concern with statistical control over 
base section quartermaster supply. Out- 
side his own office, Middleswart at the 
end of 1943 had to step in and set up a 
central depot in Oran where he could 
control theater-wide storage and distri- 
bution of critical maintenance and repair 
parts for quartermaster equipment.*^ 

Poore, the former head of the Planning 
Branch, was meanwhile sent to the Pen- 
insular Base Section at Naples, where 
pioneer planning activities in support of 
the Fifth Army were urgently needed. 
Colonel Brunson, although remaining 
the executive officer, became the new 
trouble shooter in Quartermaster liaison 
and observation work throughout the 
theater. Eventually, he became Deputy 
Quartermaster, SOS. It can be argued 
that the three reorganizations of 1943 
exerted an unfavorable influence on 
Quartermaster support and that person- 
nel were shifted around too often to 
become proficient in their duties. Mid- 
dleswart, bearing in mind the intermit- 
tent type of warfare in the western Medi- 
terranean, kept his staff small — thirty- 



*Mi) Staff Memo 72. Hq SOS NATOUSA, 15 Nov 
43. (2) Cir 60, SOS NATOUSA, 31 Dec 43. 



four officers and eighty-one enlisted men 
— and by eliminating paper work was 
always ready to shuffle functions and 
officers from one branch to another as 
required. 

As for intertheater liaison, the unoffi- 
cial technical channel among Middle- 
swart, Ramsey, Gregory, and Littlejohn 
throughout 1943 was largely a matter of 
exchanging personal letters. Few visits 
occurred. General Gregory toured Cas- 
ablanca and Oran early in February 1943, 
but neither Ramsey nor Middleswart 
had the opportunity to return to Wash- 
ington. Their knowledge of Quarter- 
master developments in the United States 
was sketchy. Not until after Anzio do 
official papers suggest that the situation 
had improved. Similarly, OQMG plan- 
ners do not mention effective liaison with 
the Mediterranean quartermasters until 
the early spring of 1944. Formal Quar- 
termaster reports from NATOUSA were 
not compiled until after the Tunisia 
Campaign. One of the first OQMC ob- 
servers was 1st Lt. William F. Pounder, 
but the results of his tour did not reach 
the theater until the test of experimental 
clothing items at Anzio in March 1944. 
The first OQMG field team to be detailed 
to Middleswart's section did not arrive 
in Oran until August 1943. The team's 
survey of the depot system and replace- 
ment rates began to play a part in supply 
by May 1944. Support to the air forces 
was not officially reported on until No- 
vember 1943. The first OQMG observers 
to join Fifth Army arrived in March 
1944. On the other hand, liaison with 
Allied quartermasters was established 
early in 1943. At the operating level 
Middleswart established working rela- 
tionships with Lt. Col. Paul C. R. St. 
Aubyn of the British Army, with Maj. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



73 



Roger Jung of the French Army, and 
later in 1944 with Col. Sebastiano A. de 
Carvalho of the Brazilian Expeditionary 
Force.*® 

Quartermaster Organization in the Base 
Sections 

If Middleswart's staff formed the brain 
of Quartermaster support at the SOS 
level, the Quartermaster staffs in the base 
sections and their depots were the bone 
and muscle of the supply system. Here 
were the troops, hired civilians, and later 
Italian cobelligerent service units which 
stacked and loaded bales and crates, in- 
ventoried and repaired thousands upon 
thousands of items of equipment, drove 
the supply trucks, and walked guard 
around acres and mountains of undra- 
matic but invaluable materials of war. 
Rarely did they win heroes' awards or 
the attention of the press, and often they 
suffered the wrath of the combat man 
when supplies were lost, stolen, or 
strayed. But for all of this, it takes little 
reflection to realize that in modern war 
everyone could not be on the firing line, 
that there could be no combat zone with- 
out a communications zone, and that — 
even by comparison with those of the 
Allies — the American rear areas were not 
lush vineyards. 

Because it quickly became more ex- 
tensive than the combat zone, the com- 
munications zone of a victorious theater 



*" (1) Pounder Rpt. Hist Br OQMG. (2) Interv 
with Middleswart, October 1955. Both Jung and de 
Carvalho were accredited to Quartermaster Section, 
SOS. In the fall of 1944 Middleswart recommended 
Major Jung's services to General Littlejohn, and 
Jung continued his liaison work with OCQM on the 
Continent. Middleswart stated that de Carvalho had 
become an astute student of U.S. Quartermaster 
staff work. 



was subdivided in the interests of admin- 
istrative convenience. Base sections ap- 
peared along the coast of North Africa, 
in Sicily, Corsica, Italy, and southern 
France, their primary purpose being to 
accumulate supplies for the ground force 
elements to draw on and from which the 
Army Air Forces and Navy could secure 
items common to all forces. Unlike the 
fighting organizations, a base section was 
a comparatively static establishment, 
populated for the most part by admin- 
istrative and service troops. Although 
Field Service regulations distinguished 
between the base sections and the 
mobile more temporary advance sec- 
tions, there was no such explicit 
distinction in NATOUSA until troops 
reached southern France in 1944. Base 
sections bore geographical rather than 
functional names — Atlantic Base (Mo- 
rocco), Mediterranean Base (Algeria), 
Eastern Base (Tunisia), Island Base 
(Sicily), Peninsular Base (Italy), North- 
ern Base (Corsica), and Continental Base 
(southern France). Mediterranean geog- 
raphy insured that each section would 
have direct access to water transporta- 
tion, and thus to NYPE, and all of them, 
irrespective of their role in operations, 
were called base sections. 

The base section quartermaster had 
something more than the job of trans- 
mitting or initiating Quartermaster pol- 
icy or plans. He was also responsible for 
supervising the operations of the support 
units in his base section. At Casablanca, 
Oran, and Constantine, the base section 
quartermasters found their staffs in- 
volved more and more in operations. 
As early as March 1943, Colonel Evans, 
Quartermaster, Atlantic Base Section, 
and Colonel Sharp, Quartermaster, Med- 
iterranean Base Section, almost simul- 



74 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



taneously hit upon the idea of creating 
a separate command organization to han- 
dle operational matters.*^ Because he 
momentarily had a surplus of officers, 
Evans proposed that the organization be 
of the provisional type. Sharp's plan 
called for a regularly constituted unit, 
one that would be commanded directly 
by the base section quartermaster. At 
the time neither concept was adopted, 
but these suggestions anticipated a T/O 
unit known later as the headquarters and 
headquarters company, quartermaster 
base depot. In the days ahead such a 
company would play a significant role in 
Quartermaster operations at the great 
base section in Naples. 

Officers qualified to handle local pur- 
chases had accompanied the original 
Torch task forces, and thus antedated 
the base sections. The daily progress of 
Quartermaster local procurement de- 
pended on the activities of Quartermas- 
ter purchasing and contracting officers 
and on the purchasing agent in each 
base section. The responsibilities of the 
purchasing agent within Mediterranean 
Base Section, for example, involved the 
standardization of prices for all com- 
modities and services, the approval of all 
purchases and contracts involving more 
than $500.00, the allocation among the 
technical services of scarce supplies, the 
procurement of identical items needed 
by several of the services, and the nego- 
tiation of arrangements for raw materials 
that had to be imported from the United 
States for the manufacture of end items. 
The procurement officers for the various 
technical services were meanwhile ex- 
pected to "make the maximum use of 



every available source or facility in this 
area. " *•* To enable them to do this read- 
ily, they were permitted to sign contracts 
and make purchases involving amounts 
less than $500.00 without prior approval 
of the purchasing agent. In September 
1943 the General Purchasing Board de- 
veloped a reciprocal aid agreement with 
the French which had the effect of still 
further decentralizing local procurement 
activities. Under this system, direct pay- 
ments of American funds to French busi- 
nessmen or vendors were discontinued, 
and a franc account was credited to the 
U.S. Army through which French au- 
thorities settled the claims of French 
suppliers.*'* 

The base section quartermaster had 
his share of personnel problems. Offi- 
cers were transferred in and out of a 
section, moving either to a supply instal- 
lation within the base section or to 
another base section. The rank of an 
officer did not affect his degree of mobil- 
ity, and the brevity of his tenure in a 
given position was as much a reflection 
of greater need elsewhere as a commen- 
tary on his competence. In Atlantic Base 
Section's formative period, January to 
March 1943, it was not unusual for an 
officer to hold as many as four successive 
positions or to remain on any single 
assignment for as little as one week. 
In February 1943, six key Quartermaster 
officers — including the quartermaster, his 
deputy, and the executive officer — were 
transferred to the newly formed Quarter- 
master Sections at SOS NATOUSA and 
Eastern Base. The following summer 
Atlantic Base Section suffered a similar 



"Memo, Evans for CG ABS, 15 Mar 43. Poore NASC. 



Proc Dir 1, Hq MBS, 21 Dec 43. AG 400.12, 



Papers. 



Hist of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 3, pp. 412-23. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



75 



fate when about fifteen of its Quartermas- 
ter officers left Casablanca for a thirty- 
five-day Mediterranean cruise which ulti- 
mately brought them to Naples where 
they formed the nucleus of the Quarter- 
master Section, Peninsular Base Sec- 
tion. •'" Meantime, none of the North 
African base sections provided quarter- 
masters for Island Base Section (Sicily) 
imtil two Aveeks after the close of opera- 
tions. Since lo July 1943 all Sicily had 
been considered a combat zone and no 
communications zone headquarters was 
organized there until late August 1943. 
The area remained a quiet backwater, 
for subsequent operations were staged 
from the larger base sections in North 
Africa. 

First Operations on Axis Territory 

By 9 May 1943 German forces had 
been swept from Tunisia, and Allied 
strength was such that AFHQ was ready 
to conduct two major operations in quick 
succession on the enemy's soil. For the 
tactical role Seventh and Fifth Armies 
had been constituted early in 1943. By 
spring the immediate objective of Sev- 
enth Army was Sicily, and landings in 
Italy by Fifth Army were in logical se- 
quence to the occupation of that island.'' 

In working toward their final plans of 
action, Col. Clyde Massey, quartermaster 
of Seventh Army, and Col. Joseph P. 



^ (1) Hist QMABS, Addenda. Hist Br OQMG. 
(2) Lt. Col. J. P. Littlejohn, ed., History of Quarter- 
master Peninsular Base Section, October 1943-May 
1945. (Hereafter cited as Hist QM PBS.) Middle- 
swart Papers. (3) Ltr, Middleswart to Littlejohn, 
26 Nov 43. Hist Br OQMG. 

^ See Lt. Col. Albert N. Garland and Howard 
McGaw Smyth, Sicily aiid the Surrender of Italy, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington, 1965). 



Sullivan of Fifth Army had studied the 
shortcomings of Torch and assembled 
reports of Tunisian experience. They 
gave careful attention to British First 
and Eighth Army reports. Each man 
listened to Quartermaster observers and 
inspectors who passed througli Mostaga- 
nem, Algeria (Massey's headquarters), 
and Oujda, Morocco (Sullivan's head- 
quarters), and spent much time in the 
field inspecting base sections or confer- 
ring with Ramsey and Middleswart on 
the status of Quartermaster supply.'- 
From these sources, each officer had been 
impressed with the necessity of perfect- 
ing the methods of moving supply over 
the assault beaches, of decreasing the 
soldier's load, of weighing and balancing 
Quartermaster troop lists, and of using 
new Quartermaster packaging, crating, 
loading, and marking techniques. Yet 
at the time no American Quartermaster 
staffs had operated in the field at Army 
level, so that the recently used Engineer 
support brigades were not fully under- 
stood. 

In the thirteen months between Jidy 
1943 and August 1944, four landings on 
Mediterranean beaches — Sicily, Salerno, 
Anzio, and southern France — offered 
opportunities for improving Quarter- 
master supply procedures in amphibious 
operations. These operations were all 
beset with troublesome problems, but 
Sicily left behind the most instructive 
record. From a Quartermaster point of 
view, the most conspicuous deficiency in 
the Torch landings had been the ab- 
sence of an efficient beach organization. 
Center Task Force was unique in em- 
ploying a specialized amphibian Engi- 



'"'2 (1) Sullivan Diary. Hist Br OQMG. (2) Poore 
Journal. 



76 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



neer brigade, and its techniques served 
as a model for ship-to-shore and shore- 
to-shore movements and for beachhead 
development. Because a beachhead op- 
eration at the outset labored under the 
handicap of shortage of transportation, 
problems of organization and scheduling 
required scrupulous attention. If, not- 
withstanding this handicap, the assault 
forces could not depend on a steady 
influx of supplies amidst the confusion 
of the landings, they were likely to be 
pushed into the sea and plans for the 
follow-up rendered worthless. 

The details of the tactical plan neces- 
sarily determined the basic organization 
for beachhead supply. As the Sicilian 
and Salerno assaults were conceived in 
phases, Massey first, and Sullivan later, 
had to calculate the needs for each phase 
of his respective operations and the man- 
ner in which deliveries were to be made. 
For Quartermaster support these phases 
were separated into three chronological 
periods: assault, consolidation, and final. 
In the assault phase scales of equipment 
and supplies had to be reduced to the 
minimum necessary to sustain the early 
combat action. These were in turn 
divided into those carried by the indi- 
vidual soldier and organizational supply 
that would be immediately available 
from dumps along the beach. The con- 
solidation phase witnessed the gradual 
build-up to whatever levels were con- 
sidered practicable for the forwardmost 
army, corps, or division depots once 
space permitted their establishment. 
The supplies for the final phase of the 
amphibious operation were those that 
became part of the permanent inventory 
of the new communications zone. Nor- 
mally, such supply went first into the 
army depots, but was later turned back 



to the quartermaster of the base section 
that appeared with the opening of the 
new communications zone. So impor- 
tant was the proper calculation of re- 
quirements for each of these phases that 
Middleswart urged higher echelons to let 
experienced supply officers accompany 
all amphibious operations with the sole 
responsibility of noting what individual 
and organizational supplies were dis- 
carded without use or were issued for the 
assault phase but not used until later.^^ 

The Husky plan called for the British 
Eighth Army to land near S)Tacuse while 
the U.S. Seventh Army, consisting of two 
corps broken down into four separate 
task forces, made simultaneous landings 
along a fifty-mile front on Sicily's southern 
shore. Shark Task Force (II Corps) 
consisted of three subtask forces: Cent 
(45th Infantry Division) for landings 
near Scoglitti; Dime (1st Infantry Division) 
to move ashore east of Gela; and Joss 
(3d Infantry Division, reinforced by 
Combat Command A, 2d Armored Divi- 
sion) to make landings in the vicinity of 
Licata and Agrigento. Using moonlight 
to their advantage, elements of the 82d 
Airborne Division (WoLF Force) were to 
drop behind the invasion beach on 
Ponte Olivo airport, seven miles northeast 
of Gela. At sea in reserve was Task 
Force KooL composed of the remainder 
of two divisions, the 2d Armored and 
the 82d Airborne. 

Because beachheads were not expected 
to be consolidated quickly, planners 
agreed that each subtask force was to be 
self-sustaining for approximately thirty 



" Ltr. QM SOS NATOUSA to Ping Sec SOS NA- 
TOUSA, 14 Sep 43, sub: Scales of QM Equip and 
Supply-Amph Opns; Ltr, Middleswart to Massey, 13 
Nov 43. Both in Middleswart Papers. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



77 



days. This meant that Cent, Dime, and 
Joss each had to have a suitable quota 
of service troops, and that each craft car- 
rying troops to their objective should 
also carry enough food, water, and gaso- 
line to sustain its passengers during their 
first several days ashore. Each subtask 
force, supported by an Engineer shore 
regiment with attached Quartermaster 
supply troops, was thereby responsible 
for supplying its own ships and other 
landing craft as well as for the operation 
of all beachheads until that mission re- 
verted back to the task force and the ist 
Engineer Special Brigade. In this sup- 
port concept quartermasters adopted one 
lesson of Torch — graves registration pla- 
toons were attached to assault divisions. 
Laimdry, bakery, and salvage personnel 
were not to enter the combat zone imtil 
army took over supply responsibilities. 
For the overland fighting in Timisia, II 
Corps had had operational control of 
staging its own supply support; for the 
landings and advance inland in Sicily, 
the 1st Engineer Special Brigade, under 
Seventh Army, was to control resupply 
and Quartermaster services, thus elim- 
inating both the army and corps quarter- 
masters from any operational responsi- 
bilities. This was a new concept, of 
dubious validity in the eyes of many 
technical services officers.'^* 

Regarding supply, Massey's ration plan 
called for all units to land with 4 days' 
rations, including a day's individual 
ration of the C or K type and the re- 
mainder of a type drawn at the unit 
commander's option. As cargo the as- 
sault convoy was to carry 7 days' supply 
of cased rations. On D plus 4 another 7 



days' rations for all troops ashore were 
to move onto the beaches, and on D plus 
8, a third follow-up convoy was to land 
another 7 days' rations for all the troops 
ashore. As to engine fuels in 5-gallon 
cans, Massey's plan contemplated land- 
ing a 7 days' supply for all vehicles ashore 
on D-day, a second shipment containing 
a week's supply for all troops ashore was 
to land on D plus 4, and a third convoy 
was to bring another 7 days' supply for 
all vehicles ashore by D plus 8. There- 
after, Mediterranean Base Section re- 
leased Class III supply as requested by 
Massey through Headquarters, Army 
Group. Class II and IV supply would 
arrive on the D plus 4 follow-up convoy 
in modified balanced loads for beach- 
head distribution. 

Before the operation Colonel Massey 
explained to McNamara that in 8 days' 
time II Corps would have received 21 
days' supply of Class I and III items into 
its Sicilian dumps. McNamara suggested 
that according to Jiis arithmetic, 7 days' 
supply for those troops ashore on D-day, 
plus another 7 days' for those ashore on 
D plus 4, plus a third 7 days' supply for 
those ashore on D plus 8 did not equal 
21 days of supply at any time. He re- 
called his experience at Arzew where the 
assault units had exhausted 12 days' sup- 
ply of rations in 4 days. He recom- 
mended larger requisitions if shipping 
permitted. After the war, he wrote, "my 
comment, offered simply as a suggestion, 
was ignored. . . . My own responsibility 
would be to disseminate the logistical 
data from a Quartermaster view point 
thru normal channels and to report on 
our situation thru Quartermaster chan- 
nels to Seventh Army." ^^ 



" (1) McNamara Memoir, pp. 78-80. (2) Rpt of 
Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign, A-8, P-i. 



McNamara Memoir, pp. 79-80. 



78 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



An illuminating insight into supply 
over a Sicilian beach can be derived 
from the experiences on lo July 1943 of 
the 1st Infantry Division, part of whose 
Quartermaster troops landed near the 
fishing village of Gela four hours behind 
the initial assault waves, and the 3d In- 
fantry Division, which led the Joss Task 
Force in its attack on the beach of 
Licata.'^^" 

Because 1st Division was Dime's key 
combat unit which also fielded two 
Ranker battalions and a battalion of 
combat engineers, the division quarter- 
master doubled as force quartermaster 
and divided his company into two staff 
organizations. One group handled divi- 
sional Quartermaster supply while the 
other concerned itself with supply for 
the whole task force. Because of limita- 
tions on seagoing transportation, certain 
Dime Quartermaster units and services 
were eliminated until after D plus 30, 
and some of the officers remained in 
North Africa to assure proper loading of 
organizational supplies and transporta- 
tion aboard the D plus 4, D plus 8, and 
D plus 12 convoys. 

Once on the beaches of Gela, the 
Engineer shore battalion handled the 
receipt of supplies at the water's edge, 
while the 1st Division's Quartermaster 
detachments established dumps a half 
mile inland. These units enjoyed good 



50 pqj. their part in the Sicilian assault landings 
the following Quartermaster units were entitled to 
the arrowhead award (GO 70, 20 Aug 45, as 
amended): 

1st QM Co 93d QM Rhd Co 

3d QM Co 100th QM Rhd Co 

45th QM Co 205th QM GS Bn 

46th QM GR Co 361st QM Bn 

52d QM Truck Bn 528th QM Sv Bn 

53d QM Truck Bn 540th QM Sv Bn 

86th QM Rhd Co 1127th QM Co AS Gp 



weather, no tides, and air and naval 
superiority. Supplies came ashore faster 
than the companies could handle them, 
and by H plus 7 adequate but badly 
mixed quantities of ammunition, gaso- 
line, water, and rations were on the 
beach. A traffic jam occurred on the 
morning of D-day because of the speedy 
deposit of supplies at the water's edge — 
including such superfluous items as bar- 
racks bags, athletic equipment, and ad- 
ministrative records. Scrambling of 
items made it impossible to keep satis- 
factory records of receipts. Somewhat 
reminiscent of Torch was the misplacing 
of supplies by landing craft skippers who 
were diverted from their course when a 
landing site was in use or obstructed by 
another vessel. 

The 1st Division met stubborn enemy 
resistance from the air as well as from 
tanks and artillery in the hills of Ponte 
Olivo. The first two days in the Gela 
sector were fairly hectic, and there were 
moments during D plus 1 when ration 
dumps were within point-blank range of 
German tanks. On 12 July, in the face 
of American aircraft, of naval gunnery, 
and of the timely arrival of heavier artil- 
lery, the enemy withdrew. Beach opera- 
tions proceeded more normally, and the 
movement of stocks inland began." 

Joss Force (3d Division) divided its 
service units among three separate for- 
mations, a Force Depot, a Near Shore 
Control Group, and a Beach Group. 



^'^ (i)"Hairline Planning by QM's Marks Invasion 
in Sicily," Quartermaster Training Semice Journal 
(QMTSJ), VI, No. 4 (22 December 1944), 20-22. 
(2) Taggard, ed., History of the Third Infantry 
Division, pp. 44!!. (3) Unit Hist, 86th QM Rhd Co. 
Hist Br OQMG. (4) Maj Clement Burnhome, 
Notes on Husky Landings, 23 Jul 43. OQMG MED 
3'9-25- 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



79 



While the Near Shore Control Group 
supervised the embarkation of all organ- 
izations and the loading of vessels car- 
rying divisional supplies, the Force 
Depot, consisting of Quartermaster, Ord- 
nance, Chemical, Medical, and Signal 
supply personnel remained in North 
Africa until the combat forces advanced 
beyond the limits of beach supply. With 
the establishment of the beachhead and 
the seizure of the port of Licata by D 
plus 3, the division quartermaster started 
moving supplies through the harbor/'* 

In addition to the improved organiza- 
tion on the beaches, the landings in Sicily 
were better than those in North Africa 
because of several new developments, the 
outstanding one being the debut of the 
Dukw, a 6-wheel, 2i/4-ton amphibian 
truck. Carried to the assault area aboard 
LST's and capable of transporting sup- 
plies directly from a vessel offshore to an 
inland dump, this vehicle eliminated the 
double handling of supplies at the wa- 
ter's edge. In the landings, Dukws dem- 
onstrated that their uses could be many 
and varied. Besides hauling supplies, 
the amphibian trucks evacuated wounded 
soldiers to hospital ships, hauled beached 
landing craft out into deeper water, and 
rescued immobilized tracked and wheeled 
vehicles from sand dunes. 

Unless the roads were good, it generally 
proved inefficient to dispatch a Dukw 
far inland, for this unduly lengthened its 
turnaround time, retarded its rate of dis- 
charge, increased wear and tear, added to 
the consumption of fuel, and increased 
the strain on drivers. Except for such 
evidence of improper use of the Dukw, 
or a comparatively rare report of over- 



loading — somewhat overburdened with 
ten tons of artillery shells, one Dukw 
sank immediately upon leaving the ramp 
of a landing craft — this amphibian truck 
met most expectations. •'•' 

Closely related to the success of the 
Dukw was the experiment in palletized 
loading at ports. A palletized load — also 
known as a unit load — was a quantity of 
supplies fastened, usually by metal straps, 
to a single or double layered wooden 
platform, which could be readily lifted, 
moved, or stacked by a fork-lift truck 
and ship's gear. The chief advantage lay 
in the speed and simplification of ship- 
ping, in the reduction in the number of 
handlers, and in lessened damage and 
pilferage. Widespread employment of 
palletized loads was discouraged, on the 
other hand, by the shortage of materials- 
handling equipment at ports, by the 
scarcity of personnel trained in dealing 
with such shipments, and by the fact that 
such units were wasteful of shipping 
space. Although numerous exploratory 
tests were conducted in the United States 
in late 1942 and early 1943, the desirabil- 
ity of palletized loads remained the sub- 
ject of considerable debate throughout 
the war.*'" Considering the distressing 
amount of breakage and pilferage in the 
North African landings, the opportunity 
to experiment with palletized loading at 
the next amphibious landing was under- 
standably attractive. 



^ Rpt, CO 3d QM Co to CG 3d Inf Div, 29 Jul 
43, sub: D to D-Day Plus 8. Hist Br OQMG. 



^ (1) Burnhome notes cited n. 57(4). (2) Obsv 
Rpt Husky-Joss Task Force. Littlejohn Collection, 
sec I. (3) Notes, Working of Sicilian Beaches. Sul- 
livan Papers. (4) Rpt, CO Co A, 43d QM Truck 
Bn, sub: War Record, 21 July 43. Hist Br OQMG. 

^ Alvin P. Stauffer, Qiiartermaster Depot Storage 
and Distribution Operations, QMC Historical Stud- 
ies, 18 (Washington, 1948), pp. i2ifF. This mono- 
graph gives the advantages and disadvantages of 
palletized loading. See also, ch. XI, below. 



80 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



At the Hampton Roads Port of Em- 
barkation, where the 45th Infantry Divi- 
sion staged for the Sicilian invasion, more 
than 1,500 palletized units, varying in 
weight from two to three thousand 
pounds, had been packed and loaded. 
On D-day and D plus 1 these units were 
lowered into landing craft and delivered 
to the beach, where a bulldozer pulled 
them out of the landing craft and across 
the beach into the dump area. Water 
and gasoline were packaged in 5-gallon 
cans, with 56 cans on each pallet; oil, in 
boxes of 24 quart cans, 30 boxes per pal- 
let; and 5-in-i rations in boxes, 60 fiber 
boxes per pallet. Those pallets trans- 
ported directly to the dump in Dukws 
were lifted out of the vehicle and 
lowered to the ground by means of an 
A-frame attached to the rear of another 
Dukw improvised to serve as a mobile 
crane. The final phase in the life of the 
pallet consisted of its unloading, after 
which the platform was returned to the 
beach where it proved useful as a sled 
for the transport of nonpalletized 
supplies. 

Landing on D-day with the 45th Divi- 
sion and remaining around Scoglitti for 
nine days solely to observe, Capt. Charles 
J. DaCosta of the OQMG agreed with 
others that "the palletization of water, 
oil, gasoline and 5-in-i rations expedited 
the delivery to the dump area by 50 per- 
cent." "^ So impressed was he by the 
combined use of the palletized load and 
the Dukw that he did not echo the gen- 
eral warning against employing the am- 
phibian trucks to transport supplies to 
inland dumps. He argued, rather, that 



" Rpt, DaCosta to Gregory, 16 Aug 43, sub: Obsv 
QM Activities at Sicily, Hist Br OQMG. 



the existence of a hard-surfaced road 
from Scoglitti to Vittoria permitted di- 
rect deliveries to a dump five miles 
inland without any significant loss of 
time. 

Less publicized than the Dukw, but 
invoking less debate than the palletized 
load was the initial use of the assault 
pack. Whereas the palletized load was 
capable of handling all classes of sup- 
plies, and in substantial quantities, the 
assault pack was primarily designed for 
the delivery of clothing and equipment 
in small 50-pound loads. Clothing and 
equipment were manifestly less vital to 
the success of an amphibious operation 
than such rapidly consumed materials as 
food, gasoline, and ammunition, but in- 
evitably a certain amount was lost or 
damaged in the confusion and fighting 
of the assault, and replacements had to 
be speedily provided. The assault pack 
worked out in detail by Middleswart's 
staff and packed by Quartermaster depots 
was well suited to meet the minimum 
requirements, while eliminating the 
need to establish separate collections of 
individual items until the battle had 
moved inland. 

The assault pack was simple: nothing 
more than a well-stocked barracks bag, 
containing the full complement of indi- 
vidual clothing and equipment for one 
man. A haversack at the bottom held a 
towel, salt and water-purification tablets, 
K rations, field jacket, raincoat, meat 
can, blanket, head net, and insect repel- 
lent. The pack also contained a web 
belt, canteen and cup, ammunition case, 
and steel helmet. For the Sicilian land- 
ing, in midsummer, when a fatigue suit 
was included in the pack, its pockets 
held a pair of wool socks, a box of 
matches, two packages of cigarettes, two 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



81 



handkerchiefs, and a small roll of toilet 
paper. ''- 

Made tip in two sizes, medium and 
large, these packs were generally shipped 
on the basis of 5 for every hundred com- 
bat soldiers participating in the assault. 
This 5-per-hundred figure was sometimes 
considered high, and in his notes on the 
Sicilian campaign Middleswart consid- 
ered 2.5 per hundred a better factor. 
The larger figure nevertheless prevailed 
on the grounds that it was not unduly 
excessive and that the contents of the 
imused packs were easily absorbed in 
the depot inventories, once larger instal- 
lations began to appear. A less constant 
planning figure was that governing the 
proportion of medium-size to large-size 
packs, for experience transformed a fifty- 
fifty ratio into one calling for 80 percent 
medium-size packs. Shoes were pack- 
aged in separate waterproof containers, 
each holding 12 pairs of shoes on the 
basis of 1 pair per assault pack and 1 
pair for each 50 men landed in the force. 
Each shoe package contained 1 pair of 
B-width, 7 of D-width, and 4 pairs of EE- 
width shoes, while even sizes varied from 
size 5's to 12's, inclusive."^ 

Once beyond the beaches the amphib- 



*^ (1) Quartermasters in Fifth Army championed 
Col. James F. Tweedy, Executive Officer, Quarter- 
master Section, I Armored Corps, as the originator 
of the assault pack. Memo, 2d Lt. Ernest E. Bal- 
lard, Asst Class II off, for Sullivan, 1 May 43. Sul- 
livan Papers. (2) The Ordnance Corps and Chemi- 
cal Warfare Service also contributed items to the 
assault packs. 

^ (1) Rpt Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign, E-4, 
P-i. (2) Ping and Movement Phases, QM— Husky, 
n.d. OQMG MED 319.1. (3) Extracts-Notes on 
Sicilian Campaign, n.d. Middleswart Papers. (4) 
QM Supply— Amph Opns, Sullivan Diary, 20 Oct 43; 
Memo, Class II off, sub: Class II and IV Activities 
for Invasion Shingle, 15 Feb 44; Sullivan MS, pp. 
14, 23-24, 37-43- All in Sullivan Papers. 



ian engineers faced the problem of fol- 
lowing a rapid advance. Six days after 
the landings about a quarter of Sicily 
was in Seventh Army's hands. The Ital- 
ian garrison was shattered and the Ger- 
mans, although resisting strongly, were 
retreating toward Messina. On 22 July 
the port of Palermo fell and from the 
Quartermaster point of view this was 
welcome news in light of the difficulty 
which the 1st Engineer Brigade had had 
in moving supplies forward from the 
southern beaches. 

All Sicily was a combat zone. This 
meant that army G-4 and the special 
staff for supply had simply delegated 
their operational responsibility to a very 
small brigade support staff. McNamara 
admitted that the amphibian brigade 
concept had worked well on the atolls of 
the Pacific, but pointed out that Sicily 
is an island of 30,000 square miles. An 
army of 150,000 troops moving quickly 
inland could not be supported by a 
brigade headquarters and attached serv- 
ice troops which had been drawn to- 
gether specifically to handle a beachhead 
operation. Phased attachments of Quar- 
termaster service troops to corps and 
divisions (except for a graves registra- 
tion platoon) had not been arranged. 
McNamara explained his plight to Mas- 
sey who attached two truck companies 
to II Corps to haul supplies from army 
dumps to army railheads. Similarly the 
Quartermaster company at the divisional 
level was severely handicapped in ful- 
filling its many missions and barely 
performed its role as a truck company.^* 



** (1) McNamara Memoir, pp. 81-86. (2) Mary H. 
Williams, comp.. Chronology, 19-11-1945, UNITED 
STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washing- 
ton, i960), pp. 120-22. 



82 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Throughout the campaign, Massey 
and McNamara were liaison officers with 
no control over their quartermaster situ- 
ation. McNamara was skeptical of the 
extreme confidence that the army staff 
placed in the support brigade's over- 
worked small staff to keep track of the 
arrival, storage, and issue of Quarter- 
master supply. Within the first fort- 
night, two emergency requests reached 
Oran for additional rations, despite the 
fact that ample requisitions had been 
placed before the operation began. Sev- 
eral million rations were ashore, but not 
available in the forward areas. But for ex- 
cellent Sicilian crops of tomatoes, grapes, 
and melons and for the nearness of Afri- 
can ports to those of Sicily, the ration 
shortage might have been far more ser- 
ious. This situation was grave until Mes- 
sina fell on 17 August and the campaign 
ended. On 12 September 1943, upon 
leaving for England where he was des- 
tined to become a quartermaster at army 
level, McNamara resolved that hence- 
forth he was going to be something more 
than a liaison officer during a war of 
movement.'''^ 

Only when the progress of Allied arms 
in Sicily assured a rapid occupation of 
that island did the Allies seriously enter- 
tain an assault on Italy. At their level 
Quartermaster planners within SOS 
NATOUSA failed to appreciate the last- 
minute arrangements that brought the 
U.S. Fifth Army from its training areas 
into the North African staging ports. In 
their view, these troop movements should 
have been completed immediately after 
the departure of Patton's force for Sicily. 
On 27 July 1943 AFHQ issued Lt. Gen. 



Mark W. Clark a directive for Fifth Army 
instructing him to proceed with tactical 
planning for seizing Naples and its nearby 
airfields. Fifth Army was to consist of 
eight divisions under the command of 
British 10 Corps and U.S. VI Corps, only 
the latter being an American supply re- 
sponsibility. 

Fortunately, Colonel Sullivan during 
his stay in Morocco had developed supply 
plans for the projected invasion of Sar- 
dinia by 186,000 troops, accompanied by 
34,400 vehicles. When, on 4 August, G-4, 
Fifth Army, called for Sullivan's D-day 
plans for Operation Avalanche, it was a 
rather easy task to adapt the Sardinia req- 
uisitions of July 1943 to the scale of the 
new operation. On the other hand, as 
August advanced SOS NATOUSA had a 
difficult time in determining the location 
of the supplies in the base sections, what 
surpluses if any could be made available 
from Sicily, and what supplies had to be 
ordered from NYPE. At the end of 
August, Sullivan had completed his plans 
for the follow-up convoys through D plus 
24, and Middleswart was hopeful that his 
pipeline system was ready to fulfill its 
mission.'"''"' 

Item by item, Quartermaster supply 
plans for Avalanche did not differ ma- 
terially from those laid down in Husky. 
Under rations the notable exception was 
the last-minute inclusion of a prisoner of 
war ration of the C type for 15,000 men 
for seven days. This feature, of course, 
had not anticipated the premature sur- 
render of Italian troops, who subse- 
quently had to arrange for their own sub- 
sistence. In addition to the assault pack 
and shoe package allowance already de- 



"^ (1) McNamara Memoir, pp. 85-86. (2) Poore 
Journal. July-August 1943. 



'Sullivan MS, pp. 1-21. 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



83 



scribed, Class II and IV plans called for 
a reserve for each 1,000 men consisting of 
10 blankets, 2 shelter halves, 100 pounds 
of soap, and 10,000 sheets of toilet paper 
per day. As a beach reserve until replace- 
ment needs came on the D plus 12 con- 
voy, organizational equipment included 
intrenching tools, electric lanterns and 
batteries, British-type emergency cookers, 
water bags, galvanized cans, field ranges, 
and wall tents. Class II and IV combat 
maintenance figures were based on 
OQMG tables of March 1943, which did 
not reflect experience in Tunisia or 
Sicily. One problem of the past was 
solved early. All medals and decorations 
were personally delivered to the Assistant 
Chief of Staff, G-i, Fifth Army, for dis- 
tribution to units before embarkation. 
Class III planning factors were based on 
the 50-mile operational day with 6.25 gal- 
lons of gasoline as the normal require- 
ment per vehicle per day. 

At the last minute, Clark arranged for 
an emergency air transport service and 
Sullivan encoimtered a new situation in 
planning with Eastern Base Section quar- 
termasters for stocking the supplies at a 
Tunisian air base. Sullivan had to ar- 
range for special packaging of rations and 
POL for the maintenance of a regimental 
combat team or a tank battalion in action 
if air supply was needed. By the time of 
Avalanche Quartermaster supply plan- 
ning for an amphibious operation was 
practically standardized procedure.''" 

Sullivan, who had the distinction of be- 
ing in the war against Germany almost 



"^ (1) Sullivan MS, ch. I, apps. (2) Admin Instr 
2, Hq Fifth Army, 9 Aug 43; Admin Instr 9, Hq 
Fifth Army, 1 Sep 43. Hist Br OQMG. (3) Sul- 
livan Diary, 9, 11, 17, 27 Aug 43. (4) Plans, Class 
II and IV Data for Avalanche. Sullivan Papers. 



twice as long as any other army quarter- 
master, as early as January 1943 had be- 
gun to organize his office and to develop 
a balanced Quartermaster troop basis for 
an army. In this planning area there 
were no modern precedents to serve as 
a guide. Field Service regulations, field 
manuals, and War Department Tables of 
Organization and Equipment reflected 
ideals, offered only vague suggestions, or 
listed personnel for an army by rank and 
ratings. During his stay at Oujda, Sul- 
livan had time to develop War Depart- 
ment tables of early 1942 and his own con- 
cepts into a well-planned Quartermaster 
organization. His earliest section con- 
stituted a planning staff of 12 officers, 1 
warrant officer, and 15 enlisted men, a 
strength that was about half what the 
authorized table of 7 January 1942 al- 
lowed for the office of an army quarter- 
master. 

The first structure of the office of Fifth 
Army quartermaster emerged out of an 
intense training program which Sullivan 
had instituted in Morocco. At "Sullivan's 
College," classes were held daily in all 
aspects of Quartermaster services of sup- 
ply, with additional instruction in the 
evenings. Map exercises drawn from 
Tunisian battle situations served as a 
basis for the study of realistic supply prob- 
lems, and participating enlisted men 
often presented solutions as if they were 
officers responsible for the accomplish- 
ment of a particular mission. In June 
1943, Sullivan developed his office to the 
point where definite staff assignments 
were made among three functional divi- 
sions — Administrative, Operations and 
Training, and Supply — with each of 
these subdivided into operating sections. 
He contemplated having certain officers 
serve in command assignments over non- 



84 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



divisional Quartermaster troops when 
his office became operational. For ex- 
ample, he planned for his Class I officer 
to serve as the battalion commander for 
all bakery companies. For Operation 
Avalanche, he divided his office into a 
forward echelon for the D-day landings 
and a rear element to land when Head- 
quarters, Fifth Army, reached the area. 
Together with his operations officer and 
two noncommissioned officers, Sullivan 
himself planned to participate in the D- 
day assault. 

The only significant change in the 
development of the office of the Fifth 
Army quartermaster during the ensuing 
campaign was the elevation of graves 
registration activities to the level of an 
independent division, an amendment to 
Sullivan's original plans which was mute 
testimony to the high rate of casualties in 
Fifth Army. Upon being questioned in 
April 1944 by the builders of a new 
Seventh Army staff, Sullivan explained 
that a graves registration officer "is of the 
utmost importance to an Army Com- 
mander. More repercussions from a 
military, political, and moral point of 
view can be felt from poorly regulated 
graves registration activity than any other 
under the jurisdiction of the Army Quar- 
termaster. It is a subject that requires 
the keeping of accurate records which 
must be referred to for years after the 
war is over." When the army quarter- 
master became operational, the classic 
function of controlling nondivisional 
Quartermaster truck units was trans- 
ferred to a separate transportation staff 
in Fifth Army."* 



In planning Avalanche Sullivan, who 
was to command his service and supply 
units in battle, carefully phased the ar- 
rival of Quartermaster troops and timed 
the length of their projected attachment 
to divisions and corps. To assist the 36th 
Division's Quartermaster company, Sul- 
livan attached a gasoline supply com- 
pany, a railhead company, and two sec- 
tions of a graves registration company. 
On D plus 3, Sullivan planned for only 
a graves registration platoon to remain 
with each division. Between D plus 2 
and D plus 11, attachments to corps con- 
sisted of a graves registration platoon, 6 
service companies, 2 truck battalions (less 
2 companies each), and a detachment of 
75 men from a depot supply company. 
On D plus 12 when army assumed respon- 
sibility for supply, all attachments to 
corps were to cease except for the normal 
use of a truck company and a service com- 
pany. ^^ 

The Sicilian campaign had shaken the 
Italians severely, and on 3 September a 
successful British landing on the main- 
land opposite Messina added to their dis- 
couragement. Meanwhile the Germans 
retreated swiftly from Calabria, began to 
evacuate Sardinia and Corsica, and pre- 
pared to defend Naples. On the evening 
of 8 September, as the Allied convoys ap- 
proached Salerno, the troops aboard were 
heartened by Eisenhower's broadcast an- 
nouncing an Italian armistice. 

To an invader from the sea the pro- 



°' Quotation in Ltr, Sullivan to DCofS Fifth 
Army, 23 Apr 44; Sullivan Diary, 31 Aug 43. Both 
in Sullivan Papers. 



^ (1) Sullivan MS, ch. I. (2) Eudora R. Richard- 
son and Sherman Allan, Quartermaster Supply in 
the Fifth Army in World War II (Fort Lee, Va., 
1950), pp. 1—13. (Hereafter cited as QM Supply in 
Fifth Army.) (3) Ltr, Sullivan to Littlejohn, 1 
Nov 43, sub: Questionnaire-QM Supply. Hist Br 
OQMG. (Sullivan's answers cover the period from 
D to D plus 30.) 



MEDITERRANEAN QUARTERMASTERS IMPROVISE 



85 



posed battleground of Salerno was a very 
unfavorable arena. The beach itself is 
flat. So is the country behind it for sev- 
eral miles. Sweeping inland from this 
oval seaside amphitheater the land rises 
rapidly. On 9 September 1943 the Ger- 
mans in strength had reserved each rising 
tier of seats, and had paid particular at- 
tention to the placement of artillery in 
the arena's gallery. As for the weather, 
landing conditions were admittedly good, 
but the clear day also afforded excellent 
visibility for enemy gunners and bom- 
bardiers. Supported by the 531st Engi- 
neer Shore Regiment, VI Corps on 
the right flank assaulted the beaches of 
Salerno Bay near the old Roman city of 
Paestum.'" Having arrived with the D- 
day convoy, Colonel Sullivan, his opera- 
tions and training officer, and two non- 
commissioned officers from the Quarter- 
master Section, Fifth Army, circulated 
among the 36th Division's beachhead 
dumps and the railheads to give advice 
and assistance. By 14 September the sup- 
ply of assault packs and shoe packages had 
been exhausted and no replacements were 
dvie until D plus 12. Sullivan recom- 
mended that each man turn in his two 
extra pairs of shoes and four pairs of 
socks. The 36th Division quartermaster 
immediately set about redistributing this 



'" Arrowhead awards for Salerno and Anzio as- 
sault landings went to the following QM units 

(GO 37, 30 Oct 1950, as amended): 

45th QM Co 242d QM Sv Bn 

47th QM GR Co 249th QM Sv Bn 

48th QM GR Co 263d QM Sv Bn 

52d QM Truck Bn 1983d QM Truck Co, 

53d QM Truck Bn Avn 

85th QM Dept Co 2037th QM Truck Co, 

90th QM Rhd Co Avn 

94th QM Rhd Co 3853d QM GS Co 

Co A, 204th QM GS 6723d QM Truck Gp 
Bn 



surplus and Sullivan accepted a requisi- 
tion for replacement of the original issue 
of these items. On D plus 3, VI Corps 
took over the supply responsibility. As 
he reconnoitered Quartermaster dumps, 
cemeteries, and depots, Sullivan recorded 
in his diary that VI Corps Quartermaster 
personnel — two officers and two enlisted 
men — should concern themselves with 
their tactical mission, not any adminis- 
trative assignment. On 2 1 September the 
remainder of the army Quartermaster 
Section arrived at Paestum and reported 
to Sullivan's headquarters tent in an olive 
grove. That same day he assumed con- 
trol of Quartermaster supply from VI 
Corps, and began looking toward the day 
when he would supply three corps of a 
field army.^^ 

It was nearly a month before Fifth 
Army broke through the encircling hills, 
seized Naples, and drove the Germans 
beyond that great port. By 26 October 
the Quartermaster Section was settled in 
the royal palace at Caserta, and Sullivan 
found time to review the Salerno battle 
and to plan for the next. After operat- 
ing under his preinvasion plan for a 
month, Sullivan recorded his disappoint- 
ment over having combined a service 
company and a truck company as a sub- 
stitute organization for a salvage collec- 
tion company. He recommended to 
Clark that in future landings regular sal- 
vage collecting troops be provided as vital 
to Quartermaster operations. Acknowl- 
edging this recommendation, Clark was 
more than pleased with the performance 
of the 242d Service Battalion, the 263d 
Service Battalion, the 204th Gasoline 



'^ (1) Sullivan Diary, 15, 21 Sep 43. (2) Ltr cited 
n. 69(3). (3) Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 13 Nov 43, 
Sullivan Diary. 



86 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Supply Battalion, the 90th Railhead Com- 
pany, and the 47th Graves Registration 
Company at Salerno and Naples. "This 
is perhaps one of the first operations," 
Clark wrote to General Gregory, "where- 
in service units were provided in sufficient 



number to perform adequately their mis- 
sion." ^^ 



■" Ltr, Clark to Gregory, 
OQMG. 



26 Dec 43. Hist Br 



CHAPTER IV 



Supporting the Armies in Southern Europe 



Quartermasters experienced certain 
advantages and disadvantages in the clos- 
ing phases of their Mediterranean war. 
The last battles unfolded on the more 
familiar terrain of southern Europe, and 
two American armies, the Fifth in Italy 
and the Seventh in southern France, 
matured quickly in combat that alter- 
nated between a war of position and one 
of maneuver. 

After Sicily fell a situation developed 
in the western Mediterranean permitting 
the Fifth and Seventh Armies to enjoy 
the many advantages that came from re- 
asserting naval supremacy and air superi- 
ority over a vast inland lake. On the aver- 
age, every ten days a convoy direct from 
the United States unloaded a ten-day 
level of Quartermaster supply at a large 
terminal port located directly behind the 
Mediterranean front. First from Naples, 
then Leghorn, and later Marseille, staged 
supply moved to the armies. 

The formal Italian surrender on 8 Sep- 
tember 1943 and the King's declaration of 
war on Germany a month later were the 
first steps in the development of "co- 
belligerency," a concept that ultimately 
gave Italy most of the duties and privi- 
leges of an Allied Power. But mean- 
while an Allied Control Commission de- 
cided upon the scope and the geographi- 
cal extent of Italian self-government, and 
defined Italian military and financial ob- 
ligations to the Allies. These policy deci- 



sions were of enormous significance to 
the Quartermaster Corps, opening up 
possibilities of labor recruitment and 
supply procurement on a scale not pre- 
viously contemplated. 

Yet Quartermaster support was not 
destined to grow in size. The Allie: 
chose not to add weight to their Mediter- 
ranean operations, but instead concen- 
trated on invading northwest Europe 
from the United Kingdom. By mid- 
December 1943 bold counterstrokes in all 
the secondary theaters had given way to 
the carefully planned cross-Channel 
operation which was now scheduled to 
begin in late spring, 1944. 

Even with the resources at hand after 
the Sextant Conference, it might be 
argued that the Allies could have attained 
greater strategic prizes in Italy than the 
limited ones represented by long-range 
bomber fields, and by occupying Rome, 
their first Axis capital. Separated by a 
mountain range, the American Fifth and 
British Eighth Armies fought their battles 
in a series of unrelated, piecemeal en- 
counters, which limited the use of armor. 
In late January 1944 it appeared that at 
Anzio the Allies had failed to appreciate 
the advantage to be gained by giving a 
surprise amphibious operation the weight 
and reserves which such an adventure so 
desperately needed. For the remainder 
of 1944 and early 1945, the Germans 
fought the Allies in Italy in two great 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



battles of position. The first was waged 
along the Gustav Line that covered the 
Liri corridor below Rome. The second 
was along the transpeninsidar Gothic 
Line guarding the approaches to the Po 
valley. In both battles, and also at Anzio, 
Quartermaster operations quickly con- 
formed to the trends familiar in wars of 
attrition. 

Early in 1944 the supreme command of 
Allied Force Headquarters passed from 
American to British leadership, and the 
boundaries of the Mediterranean theater 
were extended to take in part of British 
commands in the eastern half of the 
Mediterranean. To this situation the 
Americans of AFHQ responded with new 
command arrangements of their own. On 
8 January 1944 General Eisenhower 
handed over to Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers 
the strictly American part of his Mediter- 
ranean responsibilities. During the next 
few weeks Devers further developed his 
command by rearranging staff functions 
on the American side of AFHQ and 
of NATOUSA and by increasing the 
authority of General Larkin, his admin- 
istrative commander. 

The most successful water-borne in- 
vasion of the Mediterranean war took 
place in August 1944 along the southern 
coast of France. This operation was 
planned and executed despite the neces- 
sity of making inbound shipments for 
Fifth Army and two U.S. Army air forces, 
and of giving overriding priorities to the 
forces already ashore in Normandy. The 
task force commander of Operation 
Dragoon (southern France), Lt. Gen. 
Alexander M. Patch, recognized these 
handicaps and kept his quartermaster re- 
quirements to the minimum. During 
September enemy resistance was negli- 
gible and apart from short delays to 



disperse rearguard formations, logis- 
tical limitations alone impeded Seventh 
Army's drive from Marseille to the foot- 
hills of the Vosges. After the link-up 
with Bradley's 12th Army Group on 12 
September, Seventh Army quartermasters 
sought additional resources from the 
European theater. In the winter of 1944- 
45 the process of consolidating the vet- 
eran pipeline quartermasters of the Medi- 
terranean with those of the European 
theater proceeded by stages. General 
Devers' 6th Army Group, including 
Patch's Seventh Army and General Jean 
de Lattre de Tassigny's 1st French Army, 
came under Eisenhower's operational 
control on 15 September. But control 
over logistical support for this force was 
vested in a succession of transitional head- 
quarters imtil 12 February 1945, when all 
the supply agencies supporting the spring 
offensive into the German heartland were 
consolidated into one large SOS organiza- 
tion, COMZ ETOUSA. 

Assembly at Naples 

The Quartermaster assembly at Naples 
began modestly enough but soon picked 
up speed until it was recognized as the 
largest gathering of QMC staff officers and 
operating units in one place up to this 
time. The first arrivals were old hands 
in support procedures, having learned 
their trade in Atlantic Base Section. 
Quartermasters reached Naples as part 
of the 6665th Base Area Group (Provi- 
sional), General Pence commanding. 
Under Clark, Pence also commanded the 
Fifth Army Base Section, an organization 
which Clark had planned for during the 
formulation of Avalanche. It was 
created because Clark had noted the 
shortcomings of the SOS base section 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



89 



concept in the early phases of Torch and 
Husky. With the capture of Naples on 
1 October 1943 the 6665th Group entered 
the port city with Fifth Army and co- 
ordinated support activities until i No- 
vember, when the group became the 
nucleus for a regularly constituted SOS 
base section. Thus, for a month pipe- 
line quartermasters operated under army, 
not SOS control. From the divisions of 
Fifth Army came ample testimony to the 
adequacy of supply under this system, 
which was the prototype of the one used 
in Normandy in the late spring of 1944. 
The 3d Division quartermaster found 
this transitional organization "immeas- 
urably superior" to that of Seventh Army 
in Sicily. The 34th Division, arriving in 
Italy from North Africa, was gratified by 
Fifth Army's prompt support in contrast 
to the "20% supply and long hauling of 
the African campaign." ^ 

On 4 October, two days after a recon- 
naissance by Colonel Sullivan, the new 
group quartermasters, headed by Col. 
Wayne M. Pickels, began to survey the 
shattered city of Naples. By the next 
evening they had commandeered a lum- 
ber yard, a canning factory, and two 
bakeries as temporary installations while 
the more permanent ones were being 
selected. Quite unexpectedly, on 5 Oc- 
tober Pickels acquired a responsibility 
that was new to his semipipeline fimction 
— supply of POL products to Fifth Army. 
Hurriedly, Pickels called Maj. Charles A. 
Mount from the 49th Quartermaster 
Truck Regiment to direct the delivery of 
75,000 gallons of gasoline to Fifth Army 



1 (1) Cir 87, Hq SOS NATOUSA. 2 Aug 44. (2) 
History of PENBASE, I, 9 Jul-28 Aug. 43. OCMH. 
(3) Quoted in Rpt, Sullivan to Tate, 10 Feb 44, 
sub: QM Hist Data, g Sep 43-31 Dec 43. G— 4 Hist 
Rpt File, Sullivan Papers. 



dumps within twenty-four hours. Be- 
cause the petroleum administrator was 
not familiar with tactical POL practices, 
quartermasters handled POL supply for 
the next thirty days. During October 
Fifth Army Base Section absorbed Quar- 
termaster supplies discharged at Naples 
and adjacent ports. On the 26th, because 
of a serious illness Pickels was replaced 
as quartermaster at Naples by Colonel 
Painter, who was transferred from his 
dwindling activities in Eastern Base Sec- 
tion. It was now Painter's job to make 
the final supply transition from Fifth 
Army to SOS as smooth as possible. On 
1 November Peninsular Base Section 
(PBS) was activated and Painter was 
named chief of the Quartermaster Sec- 
tion. 

One very early function of the Penin- 
sular Base Section was local Quartermas- 
ter procurement — in fact, the disburse- 
ment records of the Quartermaster Sec- 
tion date back to October 1943, before 
PBS was formally activated. Immedi- 
ately after the Husky and Avalanche 
landings, Sicily and southern Italy had 
the status of occupied enemy territories, 
and quartermasters made direct pur- 
chases with invasion currency. After 
Italy became a cobelligerent, the system 
of direct purchases was retained in the 
combat zone, using Allied military lire 
to be redeemed by the Italian Treasury. 
In the communications zone and in self- 
governing "King's Italy," the Allies used 
requisitioning as the normal method of 
procurement, but there were repeated 
emergencies which required quick action. 
Painter maintained close liaison with the 
Local Resources Board, an agency of 
AFHQ, and was permitted to make cash 
payments whenever they were needed to 
obtain operationally essential supplies. 



90 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Such payments were held to a minimum 
at the request of the Italian Government, 
which feared inflation.- The mechanics 
of procurement remained virtually the 
same as in North Africa. In July 1944, 
when AFHQ moved to Italy, the procure- 
ment functions of the General Purchas- 
ing Board and the allocation responsi- 
bilities of the Local Products Allocation 
Committee were merged under the Allied 
Forces Local Resources Section, which 
supervised separate regional procure- 
ment boards in Sicily, Sardinia, and 
Italy. =* 

Inasmuch as Quartermaster supply — 
in early November Fifth Army's daily de- 
mands were 400 tons of rations and 550 
tons of POL — was in the limelidit, 
Painter quickly made the supply section 
one of the largest on his staff and obtained 
Colonel Poore to head it. Already Poore 
was familiar with the details of Ava- 
lanche and had only recently planned 
and set up supply for the elements of the 
French Expeditionary Corps, which was 
then joining Fifth Army. In Poore's sec- 
tion more and more matters developed 
which involved operations. One of these 
was the creation of a remount depot and 
the purchase of pack animals ^nd forage 
— activities that could only gradually be 
decentralized to other Quartermaster or- 
ganizations. Such support called for 
operating troops, and Painter struggled 
to find men at a time when all troop re- 
placement pools were closed to quarter- 
masters. The need for staff officers was 
equally pressing. By 1 December the 
new section had a total of twenty-three 



separate staff reports to compile, most of 
which were semimonthly SOS studies 
covering such details as lend-lease, local 
procurement, inventories, salvage, civil- 
ian wages, vehicular data, back-orders on 
clothing, and medical statistics. At the 
end of November 1943 Painter sought re- 
lief in the reorganization of his section.^ 
On paper, the War Department's 
Table of Organization dated 11 August 
1943 for a headquarters and headquarters 
company, quartermaster base depot, pre- 
sented a solution to Painter's difficulties. 
The need for this type of company had 
been manifested in the early days of each 
North African base section. On 14 May 
1943 Middleswart had formally presented 
his concept of the headquarters detach- 
ment to The Quartermaster General. At 
the same time Littlejohn's staff in Lon- 
don, while working on a revised depot 
and base section Quartermaster scheme 
for the United Kingdom, drafted a simi- 
lar type of headquarters detachment. 
Specifically, it was the Atlantic Base Sec- 
tion quartermaster who had first at- 
tempted to use the new concept. As 
early as January 1943 Colonel Evans had 
decided that his own staff was too small 
to exercise efficient control over operat- 
ing Quartermaster units and installations 
which were clustered around depots 
scattered over five different areas of 
Morocco. Quartermaster planners pre- 
paring for Avalanche recognized that 
this type of headquarters detachment 
was ideally suited to the projected base 
section at Naples.^ 



^ (1) Komer, Civil Affairs, ch. XVL OCMH. (2) 
Hist QM PBS, p. 216. 

^Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, chs. 
XIII, XIV. 



* (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 13-18. (2) Poore Per- 
sonal Letter File, Nov— Dec 43. Poore Papers. 

^ (1) T/O 10-520-1, 11 August 1943. (2) Hist 
QM PBS, pp. 16-17. (3) See above, p. 74. (4) 
Ltr, Sharp to Littlejohn, 17 Mar 43. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. X, item 57. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



91 



Normally, the regularly constituted 
company comprised 154 persons, includ- 
ing 34 officers, 2 warrant officers, and ii8 
enlisted men. While operating a single 
general depot with a number of sub- 
depots, this detachment supervised all at- 
tached Quartermaster support units with- 
in the base section. When operating at 
a branch depot, it supervised all attached 
Quartermaster troops as well as any sta- 
tion complement units such as a signal 
service platoon, postal unit, finance sec- 
tion, and station hospital. The new com- 
pany was the War Department's method 
of streamlining Quartermaster service 
imits in the interest of greater flexibility 
and economy in manpower. After co- 
ordinating the personnel needs for the 
new company with SOS NATOUSA, 
Painter decided initially to assemble half 
the people necessary to staff it. On 26 
November 1943, Peninsular Base Section 
activated Headquarters and Headquar- 
ters Company, 6698th Quartermaster Base 
Depot (Provisional). On 1 December 
Lt. Col. Rowland S. Brown assumed com- 
mand." 

As the 6698th demonstrated that it 
could handle more and more operating 
imits, Painter's section concentrated on 
staff plans and policy. Because of their 
Allied nature. Painter initially retained 
three operational functions: the remount 
service, solid fuel yards, and operations 
that involved liaison with a growing num- 
ber of Allied commissions, such as local 
procurement and civilian food relief. 
On 7 January 1944 the 6698th relieved 
Poore's Supply Division of the job of 
processing and editing all Fifth Army 
requisitions, including those preparatory 



to mounting the Anzio operation. By the 
end of the month the lines of demarca- 
tion between Quartermaster Section, 
Peninsular Base Section, and the 6698th 
Headquarters and Headquarters Com- 
pany were clearly drawn. ^ When Painter 
was relieved in April 1944 by Col. George 
H. Bare, the Quartermaster Section had 
made considerable progress on plans for 
the expected drive on Rome and the pro- 
jected invasion of southern France. In 
June the 66g8th dropped its provisional 
status, reached full strength in man- 
power, and acquired the designation of 
Headquarters and Headquarters Com- 
pany, 61st Quartermaster Base Depot.* 
Five months before the 61st had reached 
peak strength. Colonel Painter contem- 
plated operating his Neapolitan base with 
some 6,000 Quartermaster troops, but he 
had received only 3,575 military person- 
nel. These troops belonged to four bat- 
talions of service troops and eighteen 
separate Quartermaster companies. All 
were attached to the 6698th Headquarters 
and Headquarters Company which also 
employed a total of 5,500 civilians.^ 

When Bare assumed command in April 
at Naples, the 6698th was supervising the 
operations of 41 separate Quartermaster 
installations, including 5 Class I depots 
and dumps, 4 separate ration distribution 
points, 2 cold storage plants, 3 bakeries, 
3 garbage collecting points, 3 clothing and 
general supply warehouses, a coal and 
wood depot, a salvage dump, a metal 
scrap yard, a typewriter repair shop, a dry 



Hist QM PBS, p. 18. 



' Ltr, Poore to Tate, G-4 Fifth Army, 7 Jan 44; 
Ltrs, Poore to Middleswart, 20, 21 Jan 44. Both in 
Poore Papers. 

«Hist QM PBS, pp. 18-19. 

' Rpt on Peninsular Base Section, 10 Feb 44, sec. 
V, QM, prepared by Col. Ewart G. Plank, Hq 
ETOUSA. USFET AG 319.1. 



92 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



cleaning plant with 8 service shops, 3 
laundries, a personal effects depot, 3 
cemeteries, 3 remount stations, and 2 for- 
age yards. In addition, the 6698th and its 
successor, the 61st, had quartermasters 
working at 2 Italian Army clothing de- 
pots and at French Base Depot 901, the 
organization which supported the French 
Expeditionary Corps in Fifth Army. In 
terms of supply the 61st handled approxi- 
mately 27 pounds of Quartermaster items 
per man per day for 320,000 men in Fifth 
Army, of which troops 45,000 were 
French, Moslems, or Italian cobelliger- 
ents, and common-use items for the 
Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces and the 
U.S. Navy. It also provided limited 
amounts of supply for five million civil- 
ians.^"^ 

During the 18 months from December 
1943 to May 1945, the 61st and its pred- 
ecessor, the 6698th, controlled the serv- 
ices of 29 Quartermaster support units 
attached for more than a year and of 99 
units attached for periods varying from 
1 to 20 months, with 8 months the length 
of average assignment. Considered to- 
gether, these attachments present a pic- 
ture of units constantly moving in and 
out of Colonel Brown's command. The 
61st Quartermaster Base Depot was note- 
worthy in that it provided direct support 
to a field army longer than any other 
similar unit in the war against Germany. 

An important port and commercial 
city the size of Naples might have been 
expected to offer as many facilities for 
storage and other quartermaster services 
as Colonels Pickels, Painter, Bare, and 
Brown could have possibly used. In- 
stead, when the first quartermasters en- 
tered the city on 3 October 1943 and 



'"Hist QM PBS, pp. 18-19 and chart facing p. 



33- 



checked on preinvasion map sites, they 
were quickly disenchanted. Confront- 
ing Pickels was an awesome example of 
demolition. The Germans had scuttled 
ships in the port area and spread destruc- 
tion across the suburbs at key communica- 
tion centers. Allied bombers had added 
to the devastation. Property in general 
was demolished, unsuitable, or ear- 
marked by military government staffs for 
the rehabilitation of the devastated re- 
gion. The best of available locations 
either had been reduced to rubble or 
lacked water, gas, or electricity. Nowhere 
had quartermasters before encountered 
such destruction. 

But they had to make the best of the 
situation, and by the end of October 1943 
Quartermaster installations were being 
established around Naples. On the 13th, 
the Quartermaster Section opened a 
cemetery near the 95th Evacuation Hos- 
pital; it later became the Allied cemetery. 
Because water could not be obtained 
from city mains, mobile bakeries and 
sterilization units were set up on the 
Italian Fair Grounds, where water could 
be drawn from several large ponds, 
which hitherto had served to beautify the 
landscape. The Naples City Market 
housed a subsistence dump, but only 
briefly as the space had to be vacated for 
a British works. Accessibility to a good 
highway and rail net encouraged the 
selection of a new Class I site in Aversa, 
on the outskirts of Naples, and rations 
accumulated here before the engineers 
completed their improvements. But as 
if some malevolent spirit was afoot, the 
rainy season started and the stacks of food 
at Aversa slowly sank into the mud. 
Thirty thousand tons of rations disap- 
peared, enough for 10,000,000 men for 
a day. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



93 



The second and third tries for Class I 
sites were considerably better. One was 
situated near Garibaldi Station in Naples, 
and the other in Marcianise, about 
twenty-five miles to the north. Once engi- 
neers had cleared and apportioned the 
areas, both were comparatively capacious. 
Equipping the dumps with more than six 
miles of roller conveyors permitted the 
mass handling, sorting, and stocking of 
rations withoiu the use of trucks or other 
warehousing vehicles. In November 
1943 more than a dozen Class I points 
opened in and around Naples. The 
Campi Flegri railway yards stored whole- 
sale supplies; an athletic stadium pro- 
vided an open storage area where sheds 
were constructed to contain sacked goods 
and fast-moving items; and existing com- 
mercial ovens were repaired and added to 
military baking equipment to produce as 
much as 75,000 poimds of bread each day. 
As the 61st expanded its operations, a 
baking company was taken over at Bag- 
noli on the north side of the bay, where 
a large replacement depot and staging 
area was located. Two ice plants and a 
cold storage plant were occupied. A 
three-story stone building and an adja- 
cent sports field housed a retail distribti- 
tion point popularly called the "delicates- 
sen." Outside this building, three cold 
storage boxes, special tents for fresh fruits 
and vegetables, and a complete bakery 
permitted truckside delivery for SOS 
imits to draw rations. 

Twelve miles north of Naples at Gri- 
cignano-Teverola station, the 61st opened 
its main wholesale clothing and equipage 
depot. Here all Class II and IV stocks 
were assembled except sales, salvage, and 
certain inactive goods. Because existing 
warehouses lacked space for everything, 
the construction of sheds and Nissen huts 



and the early improvement of open areas 
were mandatory. Although a compact 
suburban depot offered such theoretical 
advantages as the ability to conduct its 
operations with fewer supervisory per- 
sonnel, more orderly record keeping, and 
less competitive traffic, this installation 
had its share of difficulties. Hardly had 
the site been taken over from Fifth Army 
before the rapid influx of supplies, de- 
livered to service troops who were too few 
and inexperienced, resulted in a moun- 
tain of unsorted clothing and equipment. 
Colonel Painter was unable to remedy 
this situation for several months, and the 
depot supply company operating the sta- 
tion was "talked about, fussed at, and 
skinned by all who saw the situation." ^^ 

An inspection of the Gricignano-Teve- 
rola depot as late as April 1944 by Major 
Wyer's stock control team from Middle- 
swart's office disclosed the spectacle of dis- 
orderly stacks and broken, unmarked con- 
tainers. Wyer reported that shelter 
halves were scattered about, that indi- 
vidual items were in mixed sizes, and that 
his team had no way of knowing what the 
depot contained. The rapid turnover of 
stocks, limited storage space, and the ar- 
rival of supplies at the depot in broken 
or poorly crated packages largely ex- 
plained this discouraging situation. Btit 
even so Wyer reported to Middleswart 
that there was no excuse for the visible 
evidence of loafing by warehousemen. ^^ 

In the autumn of 1943 the terrain over 



^'Ibid., p. 16. 

" (1) "QM Functions in the Theater of Opera- 
tions," QMR, XXIII (March-April 1944), 42. (2) 
General Mark W. Clark, Calculated Risk (New 
York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), pp. 216-17. (3) 
Rpt, Wyer to Middleswart, 18 Apr 44, sub: Rpt of 
QM Stock Control Team PENBASE, 6-18 Apr 44. 
OQMG MED 319.25. 



94 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



which Fifth Army was advancing pre- 
sented to Painter another supply prob- 
lem: the small imit under fire in a posi- 
tion to which it was nearly impossible to 
move supplies. Infantrymen held posi- 
tions inaccessible to every form of ground 
transportation, including pack animals. 
Delivery by air was the only solution, and 
an air resupply depot was established at 
Capocichino Airfield in the outskirts of 
Naples. The depot stored rations, water, 
medical supplies, POL, and ammunition 
for both the British and American troops. 
U.S. packaged rations were used exclu- 
sively because of their smaller bulk and 
better packing. By attaching an element 
of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion 
to the base section, experienced person- 
nel were obtained to further the work of 
airdropping. The basic method taught 
to quartermasters of the 61st prescribed 
the use of standard containers from C-47 
airplanes. But an improvised method 
was developed whereby supplies were 
secured with wire and salvaged blankets 
in belly tanks and dropped from A-36 
aircraft. ^^ 

As the complex of captured airfields 
in the Bari-Foggia region and on the is- 
land bases of Corsica and Sardinia were 
put into operation, pipeline quartermas- 
ters were attached to them, the first to 
operate solely under United States Army 
Air Forces control. By the end of 1943, 
the Twelfth Tactical and the Fifteenth 
Strategic Air Forces required major quan- 
tities of Quartermaster items common to 
both ground and air force troops. Here- 
tofore SOS base sections had furnished 
these items, principally rations and cloth- 
ing. But now the accident of geography 



separated the air bases from established 
SOS support sections. This applied parti- 
cularly to the Adriatic area, within the 
British administrative zone. Tenta- 
tively, planners considered activating two 
new SOS base sections, but soon dropped 
the idea. Already the movement of air 
groups from North Africa, the develop- 
ment of a network of Italian airfields, 
and the establishment of 35,000 troops 
aroimd the Foggia airfield complex had 
consinned some 300,000 tons of precious 
shipping. This build-up came at a time 
when Fifth Army faced a critical situa- 
tion, and quartermasters in Naples were 
momentarily in competition with their 
AAF colleagues. 

SOS NATOUSA had no resources to 
pour into two new special-type base sec- 
tions. It was therefore decided that items 
of common supply would be furnished 
through a general depot. For Quarter- 
master troops, SOS NATOUSA again 
turned to the declining Atlantic Base Sec- 
tion and organized two detachments of 
the Headquarters and Headquarters 
Company, 2665th Quartermaster Base 
Depot (Provisional), each consisting of 
twelve officers and twenty-six enlisted 
men. These detachments were attached 
to the XII Air Force Service Command 
(AFSC), which in turn grouped all its 
SOS quartermaster service units under 
the supervision of the 2665th. One de- 
tachment went to the Adriatic Depot 
with headquarters at Bari, Italy, and the 
other to Cagliari, Sardinia, to operate the 
Tyrrhenian Depot. ^* 

Adriatic Depot — serving an area reach- 



" History of PENBASE, I. 28 Aug 43-21 Jan ^4. 
OCMH. 



" (1) Cir 22, Hq SOS NATOUSA. 13 J"! 43- (2) 
Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 
28-29. (3) Cir 74. Hq SOS NATOUSA, 20 Dec 43. 
(4) Craven and Cate, eds., Europe: TORCH to 
POINTBLANK, p. 562. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



95 



ing from the Italian heel northward to 
San Severe and inland along the coast to 
a depth of forty miles — expanded rapidly 
after November 1943, and the 2665th 
Company began to operate under unique 
conditions as a small SOS within a larger 
USAAF command. In the interest of 
speedier delivery of rations, clothing, and 
general supplies, the 2665th was author- 
ized to deal directly with SOS NATO- 
USA if it first confirmed all strength re- 
ports with the XII AFSC. Requisitions 
provided that common supply was to be 
shipped directly from NYPE to Bari or 
Cagliari along with other AAF cargo. On 
paper the arrangement appeared simple; 
in practice it proved complex. The 2665th 
in effect had one direct master and an- 
other hidden away in the form of SOS 
NATOUSA.i^ Another difficulty was the 
large number of ship diversions to both 
Bari and Cagliari, causing groimd force 
supplies to become hopelessly tangled 
with SOS supplies for the XII AFSC. 
Later, when the French Army mounted 
on Corsica for Dragoon and the small 
ports of Ajaccio and Bastia were unable 
to berth Liberty ships with supplies 
specifically earmarked for French use, 
the cargoes had to be assigned to Cag- 
liari. The 2665th detachment in Sar- 
dinia soon had to cope with colossal 
stocks awaiting reassignment to the 
French Army while at the same time re- 
ceiving and issuing AAF supplies.^" 

At Bari the 2665th arrived on the scene 
late and found that the cargo of four 
Liberty ships had arrived long before. 
Quartermaster supplies had been hauled 



^'^ History of Adriatic Depot, I, 21 Oct 43-1 Jun 
44. OCMH. 

" Ltr, Brunson to Chief OCMH, 27 Sep 54. 
OCMH. 



to Villa Stepelli, a walled-in compound 
which had formerly been used as an 
Italian Army depot. Thousands of tons 
of mixed AAF and SOS supplies — ra- 
tions, heavy engineer equipment, valu- 
able signal instruments, and lubricating 
oils — had been dumped indiscriminately 
over many acres. The first troops to ar- 
rive were, moreover, unskilled in the ad- 
ministration of such a large depot. 
Their transportation means hardly met 
minimum needs, and contacts with the 
railheads which served the growing num- 
ber of airfields at Foggia were unsatis- 
factory. On 7 November 1943 the ar- 
rival of the 246th Quartermaster Depot 
Company and the 86th Railhead Com- 
pany brought welcome reinforcements, 
and the storage and distribution system 
slowly began to function. By February 
1944 the single depot at Bari could no 
longer serve the overgrown railhead 
points at Foggia. This situation led to 
the rcdesignation of the railhead as 
Adriatic Depot 2. Because the Bari de- 
pot forwarded the daily train to Foggia 
and the 2665th continued to maintain 
the records for the newer depot, Adriatic 
Depot 2 in effect operated as a subdepot 
of Bari. 

During the summer of 1944 as the Air 
Forces expanded their shuttle operations 
among bases in the United Kingdom, 
Italy, and Russia, and followed the 
ground advance beyond Rome, a third 
depot was opened at Ancona, two hun- 
dred miles north of Foggia. From 
Bari, supplies came by water and were 
trucked from Ancona to Jesi, where they 
were fanned out to nearby air installa- 
tions. Along the length of Italy's eastern 
seaboard air operations ultimately in- 
volved some 200,000 troops and the 
2665th controlled sixteen separate Quar- 



96 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



termaster support units within the XII 
Air Force Service Command. The 
2665th's support extended beyond the 
boundaries of Italy. At Athens, Air 
Transport Command planes visited regu- 
larly to deliver post exchange items. 
Supply of the partisans in Yugoslavia 
was largely a Royal Air Force responsi- 
bility, but several U.S. units, especially 
the 6oth Troop Carrier Group, made 
important contributions. Most supplies 
were airdropped, but on occasion the 
C-47 transports of the 60th landed and 
delivered all types of supplies, even in- 
cluding mules. ^^ 

One significant factor was common to 
the operations of these two depots — 
neither installation was responsible for 
the support of any ground combat 
troops. In the Adriatic area, the British 
Army provided security for AAF bases, 
and on Corsica and Sardinia the French 
and Italian forces, respectively, had the 
same mission. These troops received 
little American support, and none 
through the two AAF depots. Never- 
theless, considering their very modest 
size, Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Depots 
provided very adequate and satisfactory 
support to the Twelfth and Fifteenth 
Air Forces. 

The Slow Advance on Rome 

From somewhere along the lines of 
the Garigliano and Sangro Rivers, 75 
miles south of Rome, Sullivan dis- 
patched an undated requisition to his 



" (1) Opn Functions, Adriatic Depot, 3 Dec 44. 
MTOUSA, Adriatic BS 370.43. (2) Wesley Frank 
Craven and James Lea Gate, eds., "The Army Air 
Forces in World War II," vol. Ill, Europe: ARGU- 
MENT to V-E Day, January 1944 to May 1945 
(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951), 
pp. 507-14. 



colleagues at Naples. Only partly in 
jest it read: "The Army is starving and 
freezing to death. We need about 50,- 
000,000 of everything. In fact send all 
you have. P.S. Also send what comes in 
next week." The message implied that 
spigot and pipeline quartermasters were 
experiencing their first real war of attri- 
tion. Actually, the strain on supply 
started in mid-November 1943 when 
Fifth Army's drive, which had been con- 
tinuous since Salerno Bay, came to a 
temporary halt along the Volturno. 
Winter rains, flooded rivers, mud, the 
expensive daily train by truck instead of 
rail, and a determined enemy in fixed 
positions demanded the tightest kind of 
imity among quartermasters. Nowhere 
had Fifth Army seriously considered 
abandoning the offensive. By 24 Novem- 
ber Clark had deployed his two Ameri- 
can and one British corps in anticipa- 
tion of a drive into the Liri valley. After 
nearly two months of desperate resist- 
ance on the Winter Line, the Germans 
retired to their Gustav Line, which 
started at the Tyrrhenian Sea, followed 
the Garigliano, Gari, and Rapido Rivers, 
and ended in the hills beyond Cassino.^^ 
During this period Sullivan, Painter, 
Middleswart, and Ramsey more clearly 
than before saw the intimate relation- 
ship between tactics and their wholesale 
mission of supply. 

Before encountering the Gustav Line 
late in December 1943, Allied planners 
had been considering an amphibious as- 
sault to outflank the German transpen- 
insular position. Delicately, the plan 
hinged on the availability of fourteen 



" (1) Quoted in Preface, Hist QM PBS. (2) 
Ernest F. Fisher, Cassino to the Alps, a volume in 
preparation for UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
WORLD WAR II. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



97 



LST's. By 31 December a third version 
of Operation Shingle against the Anzio- 
Nettuno beaches was finally approved 
and scheduled to take place in late Janu- 
ary 1944 regardless of the southern posi- 
tion of Fifth Army. The VI Corps, com- 
posed of the 3d Infantry Division and 
the British 1st Division, was to make the 
assault on 22 January 1944. 

On 8 January radio traffic among 
Quartermaster sections suddenly in- 
creased and the train of events then set in 
motion indicated the course to be taken. 
That same day quartermasters at Naples 
received instructions to begin filling Sul- 
livan's phased QM requisitions for 
Shingle. Concurrently, the Quarter- 
master Section of VI Corps was in- 
formed that it would no longer be part 
of the requisitioning system. The step 
acknowledged acceptance of the War 
Department's doctrine, announced in 
October 1943, eliminating all corps head- 
quarters from supply responsibilities. 
Accordingly, VI Corps announced a sur- 
plus of Quartermaster officers whose 
services were sorely needed by the Quar- 
termaster Section, Peninsular Base Sec- 
tion. Optimistically, Painter selected 
Poore to plan for the establishment of 
a Quartermaster base at Rome. For re- 
sources Poore called on Middleswart. 
The day of 8 January was an opportune 
time for this appeal. After sharing 
divided authority and responsibility 
with NATOUSA for a year, the Quar- 
termaster Section, SOS NATOUSA, was 
on the verge of benefiting from a theater 
reorganization, including a realignment 
of functions between Middleswart and 
Ramsey. ^^ 



" Colonel Ramsey became a brigadier general on 
17 September 1943. 



Also on 8 January, as already de- 
scribed, NATOUSA came under the 
command of General Devers, who im- 
mediately began furthering the develop- 
ment of a separate Communications 
Zone, NATOUSA. By 20 February 1944 
the process was complete. Thereafter 
Devers agreed not to engage in any oper- 
ating functions which the new Com- 
munications Zone commander. General 
Larkin, could reasonably handle himself. 
Specifically, all base sections now came 
completely under Larkin's control, 
rather than partly as before. On paper 
and physically, Devers transferred sev- 
eral theater staff sections to Larkin's 
headquarters at Oran. With a clear-cut 
mission Larkin organized his Headquar- 
ters, SOS NATOUSA— he decided to re- 
tain this familiar name for his new com- 
mand — along the familiar lines of an 
orthodox general and special staff. SOS 
moved to Italy in July 1944. 

In the process of these changes, Mid- 
dleswart acquired a broader area of re- 
sponsibility. First, he controlled all 
Quartermaster units and personnel as- 
signments within the Communications 
Zone. Second, he issued items in excess 
of authorized Tables of Organization 
and Equipment. Third, under NATO- 
USA policies, Middleswart had charge 
of supervising Quartermaster training 
throughout the command. Fourth, he 
handled allocations and issue of supplies 
which were needed by the U.S. Navy, 
the merchant marine, and the War Ship- 
ping Administration. And lastly, he 
controlled supply to be released for Al- 
lied or cobelligerent forces as outlined 
in NATOUSA policies. In all this 
he still had no authority over POL and 
solid fuels. With that exception, he 
was by February 1944 the senior quarter- 



98 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



master in the Communications Zone of 
NATOUSA, and in effect the theater 
quartermaster.-" 

At AFHQ level, on the other hand, 
Ramsey became involved more and 
more in two specific missions as the war 
spread in Italy. First, his AFHQ Quar- 
termaster Section was the channel of 
communication for captured enemy ma- 
teriel. It is significant that the Fifth 
Army had few items of this nature to re- 
port, indicating that the enemy was 
highly disciplined in a war of attrition. 
Second, through a deputy at Naples — 
Ramsey had moved to Caserta with 
AFHQ in July 1944 — he controlled the 
allocation of imported coal for the Al- 
lied stockpile, except requisitions by the 
Royal Navy and the British Ministry of 
Transport.-^ 

Actually the realignment of Quarter- 
master functions, which began early in 
January and ranged from corps level to 
the highest Allied headquarters, was a 
return to prewar U.S. doctrines. The 
organization was tightened and the var- 
ious staffs, by now veterans of a year's 
labor, obtained no increase in man- 
power. Standing operating procedures 
governed supply, and planning on the 
scale of Shingle and Anvil was no 
lona^er dreaded. Achievement of com- 



^ (1) Remarks to Staff and Command Conference, 
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, by The Quartermaster 
General, Maj. Gen. Thomas B. Larkin, 17 May 
1946, QMR, XXVI (July-August 1946), 35-40. (2) 
Hist of AFHQ, pt. Ill (Dec 43-Jul 44), sec. II, pp. 
752-77; pt. Ill, sec. I, pp. 697-739. OCMH. (3) 
Cir 77, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 6 Jul 44. (4) Colonel 
Middleswart became a brigadier general on 25 May 
1944- 

21 Hist of AFHQ, pt. Ill (Dec 43-Jul 44), sec. Ill, 
PP- 895-98, 904-05, 999-12; pt, II, sec. Ill, pp. 
388-92. OCMH. 



munications zone status and a strength- 
ening of Quartermaster organization at 
army level drew pipeline and spigot 
quartermasters closer together than be- 
fore. They intensified their efforts in 
such new fields as development of a re- 
mount service, organization of repair 
and spare parts teams, correction of 
theater stock inventory procedures, col- 
lection of replacement factors, preven- 
tion of trench foot, development of serv- 
ices of supply within such groups as the 
French Expeditionary Corps, Italian co- 
belligerent units, and prisoners of war, 
and preparation of supplies for delivery 
by air." 

Sullivan was the first quartermaster to 
benefit from these developments. Plans 
had already provided that the second 
and fourth convoys for Shingle were to 
consist of Liberty ships, to be loaded in 
North Africa. Consequently they had 
to sail earlier than the first and third 
convoys, which comprised LST's and 
sailed from Naples. By 8 January 1944 
Sullivan had submitted his requisitions 
to Middles^vart for all four convoys. 
They ^vere designated A Bull to D 
Bull, inclusive, Bull being the ship- 
ping code designation for Anzio. They 
covered the QM requirements of the 
initial landing force — 45,000 men and 
4,200 vehicles. Based on newly acquired 
information of what assault troops ac- 
tually needed, the Bull requisitions 
represented a major advance in logis- 
tical planning.^^ 

For the Anzio landings, an ingenious 
system of preloaded trucks to be car- 



-^ For a fuller discussion of these topics see below, 
Chapters V, VII, and VIII. 

^ (1) QM Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 32-34. (2) 
Sullivan MS, pp. 35-51. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



99 



ried on LST's ^vas set up. At Naples 
a waterproofed 2y2-ton truck was loaded 
to twice its designated capacity ^vith one 
class of supply. Along with thirty-four 
other vehicles, the truck was rolled on 
to one of the fourteen LST's ^vhich ^vere 
to carry the assault reserve of supplies. 
The idea of spread-loading each LST 
with trucks carrying rations, clothing, 
POL, and ammunition ^vas sound. The 
loss of one vessel would not seriously re- 
duce the loss in any one class of supply. 
The roll-on-roll-off truck-LST system 
had other advantages. A truck stopped 
at one diunp in Naples; it had a single 
destination at Anzio. For the return 
trip quartermasters could evacuate sal- 
vage. If the beachhead were expanded 
more rapidly than anticipated, it was 
possible that the trucks ^vould remain at 
Anzio as a mobile reserve.-* 

Of the total of 500 trucks bearing the 
beachhead reserve of 3 days' supply for 
45,000 troops, Sullivan ^vas allotted 275 
2V2-ton trucks. Basically, the propor- 
tion ^vas ideal, for it reflected past am- 
phibious experience and indicated fu- 
ture trends. Of the 275 trucks, Sullivan 
earmarked 102 (about 7 per LST) for 
rations, both combat and hospital, 
water, and Avater-purifying chemicals; 9 
for critical clothing items (43,480 
pounds) and intrenching tools (10,050 
pounds) ; and the remaining 164 for 
POL. 

In terms of pounds per man per day, 
Sullivan's food and clothing and general 
supplies corresponded with Husky and 
Torch plans. For Shingle, he still used 
factors to allow each type of vehicle to 
move 25 miles per day. As yet he con- 



sidered his new experience table, begun 
after Avalanche and based on pounds 
of POL per man per day, too sketchy. 
Immediately after D-day he shifted to 
his ne^v POL factor largely because he 
was unable to obtain an accurate census 
of vehicles by type at Anzio on any defi- 
nite day. In retrospect, the provision 
of factors for each class of Quartermaster 
supply furnished for Shingle marks the 
end of the search for a formula applic- 
able to Quartermaster operations in the 
Mediterranean theater. Subsequent ex- 
perience merely justified the use of such 
factors.-^ 

The final version of A Bull Class II 
requisitions did not reflect Sullivan's 
efforts to define anew what clothing the 
individual soldier would wear or carry 
into combat. He had attempted to con- 
vince the Army G-4 that the popular 
armored force combat suit should be 
worn in lieu of the regular wool olive 
drab uniform and Parsons field jacket. 
Like^vise he wanted to reduce the con- 
tents of the assault pack as used in 
Avalanche, but shortages of some items 
again forced the use of this pack. The 
C Bull requisitions, eliminating all 
clothing and general supplies, covered 
the first turnaround delivery of the LST- 
truck shuttle system. This convoy pro- 
vided three days of Class I and III sup- 
ply for all troops ashore. Sullivan's B 
Bull requisitions called for the greatest 
amount of resupply — ten days. Because 



^ (1) QM Supply Plan (Shingle). 5 Jan 44. Sul- 
livan Papers. (2) Sullivan MS, ch. III. 



-' (1) See below, Chapter VI, on POL factors. (2) 
On the eve of Avalanche Sullivan had secured a 
copy of General Littlejohn's revised ioo,ooo-man 
factors, reflecting both the theories of OCQM, SOS 
ETOLISA, and earlier Mediterranean experience. 
This exchange of vital data continued, and un- 
questionably had a direct bearing on Quarter- 
master plans behind the Overlord-Anvil operations 
in summer 1944. 



100 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



of the time necessary to prepare ship- 
ments and because of the type of ships 
to be loaded — some in North Africa — 
the B Bull serials were the first to be 
presented to Painter and Middleswart. 
The second convoy of Liberty ships, 
carrying the D Bull requisitions, 
brought an additional ten days of sup- 
ply, including the all-important compo- 
nents of the B ration.-'' 

The VI Corps assault on 22 January 
at Anzio completely surprised the Ger- 
mans. Their counteroffensive equally 
surprised Fifth Army. By 1 February 
the attack out of the beachhead had 
stalled and Clark ordered VI Corps to 
prepare for the defense. The attritional 
advance on Rome now continued on 
two fronts, and Sullivan's Bull requisi- 
tions progressed deeper into the alpha- 
bet. The events of late January has- 
tened Sullivan's efforts to consolidate 
planning and control of operations in his 
office, a process which had been under 
way since 21 September 1943.-^ Early 
in February 1944, when VI Corps re- 
linquished control of supply and a sem- 
blance of centralized control of the 
beachhead had been inaugurated. Fifth 
Army established an advance command 
post at Anzio to administer the port and 
dump area. 

Sullivan rapidly moved his office into 
the picture. Though physically sepa- 
rated, three corps — the II and VI Corps 
and the French Expeditionary Corps, 
which took the place of VI Corps along 



^ (1) Sullivan MS, ch. IIL (2) Memo, Ballard. 
Asst Class II Off, for Sullivan, 15 Feb 44, sub: Sum- 
mary of QM Class II and IV Activities, Opn 
Shingle. Sullivan Papers. 

^ Memo, QM Fifth Army for QM VI Corps, 24 
Jun 44; Opn Memo 82, OQM Fifth Army, 7 Aug 44, 
sub: SOP Rhd Opn. Both in Sullivan Papers. 



the Gustav Line — now adhered to the 
McNair doctrine of 16 October 1943, 
which asserted that a corps functioning 
as part of a field army had no adminis- 
trative control over supply.-* For the 
first time Sullivan was practicing what 
had been a cherished dream in the U.S. 
Army. At field army level the Office of 
the Quartermaster (OQM) , whether on 
a system of automatic supply or requisi- 
tion, was obligated to deliver or evacuate 
all Quartermaster resources to and from 
railheads located as close as possible to 
the combat divisions, regiments, sepa- 
rate battalions, or smaller units. While 
the corps quartermaster was expected to 
devote his activities to the tactical as- 
pects of supply and to recommend ap- 
propriate levels, he was no longer to 
wield authority over army installations 
lying within corps boundaries. 

In mid-March 1944 the major Allied 
forces regrouped, splitting the shank of 
Italy in two. The Fifth Army assumed 
control of the west side bordering on 
the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the British 
Eighth continued in control of the Adri- 
atic side. Regroupment necessitated 
considerable movement of supplies, 
troops, and headquarters at a time when 
the situation at Cassino and Anzio de- 
manded increased Quartermaster plan- 
ning and reconnaissance, and closer co- 
ordination of supply activities. On 23 
March 1944 Sullivan moved from Ca- 
serta to Sparanise along with Fifth Army 
headquarters. The office of the army 
quartermaster was now completely or- 
ganized along the lines projected by Sul- 
livan in Oujda, Morocco, in 1943. Dur- 
ing 1944, Quartermaster troops assigned 



^Rpt 493, AGF Bd MTOUSA, 19 Jun 45. sub: 
QM Questions. OQMG MED 319.25. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



101 



to Sullivan comprised some 30 to 35 
companies, assembled under the com- 
mand of from 5 to 7 separate headquar- 
ters and headquarters detachments of 
Quartermaster battalions.-^ Fifth Army's 
narrow front made it preferable for the 
OQM to retain this command system. 
The only use made of the Headquarters 
and Headquarters Detachment, Quarter- 
master Group, was to have it administer 
the several Italian service battalions at- 
tached to Sullivan's office. 

The seven Quartermaster battalions 
assigned to Fifth Army in March 1944 
included the 62d, Avith salvage, laundry, 
and sterilization companies (controlled 
by the army salvage officer) ; the 204th, 
with four gasoline supply companies, 
two attached truck companies, and a 
single attached French petrol company 
(controlled by the OQM Class III of- 
ficer) ; the 94th, 242d, 259th, and 263d, 
^vith service, railhead, bakery, depot sup- 
ply, truck, and graves registration com- 
panies (directly under the control of 
the OQM Class I, Class II, and Class IV, 
or graves registration officers) ; and the 
249th with a representative selection of 
11 Quartermaster companies. The 
Headquarters and Headquarters Detach- 
ment, 249th Quartermaster Battalion, was 
controlled by Lt. Col. Cornelius C. Hol- 
comb, who headed the office of the ad- 
vance army quartermaster at Anzio.^" 



Hoping to establish an intermediate 
system of supervisory, rather than direc- 
tional, control over his field installa- 
tions, Sullivan outlined an arrangement 
whereby each area quartermaster served 
as his field representative. Such a dep- 
uty, who was actually the senior quarter- 
master in a given area, possessed no in- 
dependent authority over operations. ^^ 
This officer could neither issue orders 
conflicting with established procedures 
or policies nor change production or- 
ders or supply levels. His only inde- 
pendent responsibilities pertained to 
sanitation, supply discipline, and secur- 
ity camouflage. Used at Anzio in the 
form of an advance headquarters, Sulli- 
van's system did not Avork as intended 
because the appointed area quartermas- 
ter established his own routine and cre- 
ated a procedure of dual control. Be- 
cause of this awkward development, Sul- 
livan eliminated the job at Anzio sev- 
eral weeks before the main Fifth Army 
force absorbed the beachhead, and the 
system was shelved until it could be 
adapted to a mobile or rapidly moving 
tactical situation. 

Holcomb's organization at Nettuno 
was exclusively a branch field office. 
Staff officers in charge of sections in Hol- 
comb's office were also the commanding 
officers of units assigned or attached to 
the Headquarters, 249th Quartermaster 
Battalion, Lt. Col. John C. Strickland 



^ (1) -Fifth Army History, V, 235-36. (2) Rpt, 
Orgn of OQM, Fifth Army, prepared by Hq 15th 
Army Group. Hist Br OQMG. (3) SOP OQM, 
Field Opns Fifth Army, 2 Aug 44. OQMG MED 
319.25. (4) Colonel Sullivan became a brigadier 
general on 20 February 1944. 

'^ (1) QM Supply in Fifth Army, app. P, pp. 114- 
15. (2) Twenty-nine Quartermaster truck com- 
panies were assigned to Transportation Section, 
Fifth Army, for operation. Sullivan had no re- 



sponsibility over them, As early as 1 December 
iq(3 Sullivan organized a Field Range Inspection 
and Repair Group, consisting of an officer and two 
enlisted technicians. Hist Rpt, QM to Tate, 10 Feb 
44. Hist Rpts, Sullivan Papers. 

•■" (1) Rpt cited n. 29(2). (2) Opn Memo 75, 
OQM Fifth Army, 15 Jul 44. Sullivan Papers. 



102 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



commanding.^- Subsistence was handled 
by the 94th Railhead Company, POL by 
the 3853d Gasoline Supply Company, 
and Class II and IV supply by a detach- 
ment of the 85th Depot Supply Com- 
pany. Salvage matters were supervised 
by a lieutenant in Holcomb's office, but 
the evacuation work was carried out by 
three Quartermaster service companies, 
plus an Italian labor battalion. Graves 
registration remained a VI Corps re- 
sponsibility; one platoon of the 47th 
Graves Registration Company and two 
platoons of the 48th Company handled 
this mission. Forced to disperse because 
the entire area was under frequent fire, 
the 249th scattered its installations with- 
in the beachhead. The main ration 
dump was near Nettuno, where damage 
was small in spite of recurrent shellings. 
The largest single loss resulted from an 
air raid when an antipersonnel bomb 
ignited a stack of tobacco kits. During 
another bombardment nineteen artillery 
shells fell in the dump area, but de- 
stroyed only seven cases of K rations. 
The 3853d operated two POL dumps, 
one of which was just north of Anzio 
city and the other three miles east of 
Nettuno. To isolate fires and explo- 
sions, POL was segregated into 5,000- 
gallon lots with each stack of 1,000 cans 
partially buried in a pit. Of the nine 
million gallons of POL shipped to the 
beachhead, the 3853d held losses to 1 
percent. 

Holcomb's main clothing and equip- 
age depot was approximately six miles 



■■"= (I) "QM Under Fire," QMTSJ, VII, No. 2 (7 
January 1945) 2-7. (2) Sullivan MS, p. 82. (3) 
Msg, Army Advance CP to Clark, 22 Mar 44. Fifth 
Army, AG 430. (4) Article, QM Supply at Anzio, 
by Maj Gen E. B. Gregory, The Quartermaster 
General. Hist Br OQMG. 



from the enemy. Operating there, the 
85th Depot Company occupied a former 
Italian barracks near Nettuno and han- 
dled large quantities of supplies under 
blackout conditions. A bomb destroyed 
one of the sheds but for the most part 
the depot suffered little damage. The 
85th received only a few calls it could 
not fiU.^^ Shortages appeared in rain- 
coats, underwear, shoes in wide widths, 
field jackets, and candles, but never in 
critical proportions. During the first 
fifteen days. Class II and IV items were 
shipped automatically on the basis of 
replacement factors. Later a requisition 
basis was used because Sullivan had defi- 
nite evidence that his replacement fac- 
tors did not reflect adequately supply 
needs in this war of attrition. With the 
arrival of spring weather, stocks at Anzio 
increased steadily.^* 

Since early March food and packaged 
POL at Anzio had a priority second only 
to ammunition. The former had been 
placed on semiautomatic supply — supply 
against specially prepared status reports. 
Conditions at Anzio after mid-February 
had been comparable to the quiet periods 
of World War I trench warfare. The 
troops ^vho had been living on combat 
rations began to receive one hot meal 
a day in their foxholes. Three hot 
meals were served in the rear areas, oc- 
casionally supplemented by fresh eggs 
and meat either procured locally from 
the few remaining Italian farmers or 
requisitioned by raiding parties in search 
of chickens and livestock. These forays 
were as carefully planned as patrols 
against a tactical objective. 

Finally, in May the Fifth Army started 



QM Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 38-39. 
Sullivan MS, p. 90. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



103 



its spring offensive against the Giistav 
Line and the troops at Anzio could at 
last look forward to an end of the mo- 
notony that had characterized the recent 
weeks. But if Anzio was quickly left 
behind, it could not be quickly for- 
gotten. Logistically — because of more 
efficient supply procedures and contin- 
uous deliveries by preloaded trucks, sus- 
tained operations under blackout condi- 
tions, and effective use of the Dukw to 
mention only a few improvements — An- 
zio ^vas a landmark in Quartermaster 
operations. But it was memorable for 
another reason. During the 125 days 
on the beachhead the falling bombs, 
artillery shells, and flak failed to dis- 
tinguish between service and combat 
troops. Here, along with men on the 
line, 10 percent of the troops under con- 
trol of the 249th Quartermaster Battal- 
ion were killed or wounded.^' 

For the 1944 spring offensive. Allied 
regroupment along the Gustav Line had 
begun in mid-March 1944, and Sullivan 
relocated his installations on the north 
side of the Volturno River. While this 
involved a move of less than fifteen 
miles, the Quartermaster Section re- 
quired seven w^eeks to transfer the large 
tonnages out of the permanent build- 
ings in the Aversa-Capua-Caserta tri- 
angle, into the general area of Sparanise. 
The Class II and IV depot moved to a 
site adjacent to the Sparanise rail yards, 
containing Nissen huts and numerous 
concrete platforms. The salvage col- 
lection dump was less fortunate. Sulli- 
can called upon engineers to construct 
a completely new installation ^vith 
gravel roads, gravel tent flooring, slit 
trenches, fences, and an unprecedented 



number of tents. Shifting ration and 
gasoline dumps was considerably more 
difficult than moving clothing stocks and 
salvage yards, because these dumps were 
obliged to remain open until all the Fifth 
Army troops had moved out. Not a single 
Class III dump suspended operations 
until ten days after the sixth gasoline 
dump had opened in the forward area. 
While attempting to straighten out his 
trans-Volturno supply lines, Sullivan 
found that he had left behind one com- 
pletely unsolved matter. The burial of 
Moslem troops of the French Expedi- 
tionary Corps created an unforeseen 
problem of cemetery design. Deceased 
Moslems had to face Mecca. A simple 
solution appeared to be for all grave 
markers to face in an eastward direction. 
But this was not always possible when 
such matters as adequate drainage and 
easy access to graves were considered. 
Sullivan solved tlie problem by dividing 
Fifth Army's future layouts into three 
separate sections. One contained Ameri- 
can and Allied dead, another enemy re- 
mains, and the third Moslem bodies.^® 

Basic to the orderly flow of Quarter- 
master supplies from Naples to Fifth 
Army was the daily telegram, which 
served as the essential requisitioning 
document.^" According to accepted doc- 
trine the daily telegram originated ^vith 
division and corps reports, ^vhich gave 
the strength of their commands in men 
and animals.^- Army then consolidated 
these figures and dispatched a consoli- 
dated telesrram to the base section. 



Ibid. 



•'"' QAf Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 4f)-ii, 69. 

^" WD FM 100-10, Field Service Regulations 
Administration, 15 November 1943, pp. 35-36. 

^ Corps compiled the document for those units at- 
tached to the corps for administration. 



104 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Since clothing and equipment were con- 
sumed at irregular rates, they were not 
included in the daily telegram. 

Early in the campaign Sullivan had 
learned that it was almost impossible 
to follow this basic doctrine. He ob- 
served that "the daily telegram is . . . 
not entirely workable because the tac- 
tical situation changes so rapidly. "^° 
Even along the narrow Volturno front, 
with daily train service and Naples only 
some twenty-five miles away,*° Sullivan 
had difficulty in receiving front-line re- 
ports. 

With units moving from one sector 
to another on less than 24-hour notice, 
with squads and platoons deployed in 
isolated places, deliveries of food and 
gasoline on the basis of the telegram 
more than a day old were likely not to 
be made in the right place. For that 
reason the daily telegram was modified 
in the direction of automatic supply by 
Fifth Army. A unit could draw quar- 
termaster supply at a railhead simply by 
submitting a telegram which only indi- 



=» Sullivan Diary, 8 Oct 43. 

*" Fifth Army's quartermaster dumps received sup- 
ply from Naples by rail for the first time on 9 
December 1943. The railroad daily train arrived in 
four sections at the hours of 0600, 1200, 1600, and 
2400. That same day Sullivan and Painter met with 
the army and base section transportation officers 
to discuss the standard daily telegram, the co- 
ordination of the transportation system, and the 
use of common terms. Painter said his Quarter- 
master Section could deliver supplies forty-eight 
hours after he received Fifth Army's daily telegram, 
provided that OQM, Fifth Army, got the document 
to Naples by eleven o'clock each morning. During 
the conference, the army transportation officer was 
sensitive to the term "railhead," a word of World 
War I origin. Sullivan agreed to designate his for- 
wardmost transfer points as "truckheads." Yet in his 
diary and in correspondence with the Quartermaster 
company at such points, he preferred the use of the 
traditional Quartermaster word "railhead." Sullivan 
Diary, 9 Dec. 43. 



cated the quantities and types of rations 
desired without anticipating its require- 
ments several days in advance. At the 
end of the day so-called consolidated 
telegrams reporting total issues for that 
period were prepared by each Fifth 
Army railhead and forwarded by courier 
to Sullivan's office. After consolidating 
this information with the daily require- 
ments of each truckhead and balances 
on hand Sullivan's Class I officer re- 
quested replenishment from Peninsular 
Base Section three days hence. *^ 

A prerequisite to the full success of 
this procedure was the existence of re- 
serve stocks in an army base dump. 
Availability of such reserves permitted 
faster replenishment of railheads and 
narrowed the time lag between the date 
of requisition and the date of consump- 
tion. While there was never serious 
doubt as to the need of such reserves, 
G-4 staffs, the spigot quartermaster, and 
the pipeline quartermaster disagreed as 
to their size. Sullivan and Painter 
crossed swords on this point after i Jan- 
uary 1944, when the daily train ran regu- 
larly to Caserta and when Peninsular 
Base Section had a much better insight 
into the condition of its stocks. Alert to 
the difficulties in allocating transporta- 
tion means equitably among all the tech- 
nical services, Tate preferred that Sulli- 
van limit his base dumps to a two-day 
supply of B rations and fractional days 
of supply of combat rations. Sullivan 
contended that such low levels jeopard- 
ized both the maintenance of balanced 
rations and prompt delivery to units. 
He pressed for a ten-day level at base 



" (1) Rpt cited n. 29(2). (2) Memo, 1st Lt James 
M. Demske for CQM MTOUSA, 21 Feb 45, sub: 
Obsv Rpt. Sullivan Papers. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



105 



dumps, including seven days of B rations. 
For close support during mountain fight- 
ing this was not excessive. But Tate was 
more optimistic than Sullivan regarding 
the possibility of a breakthrough, and 
repeatedly pointed oiU that Fifth Army 
reserves were too large to be moved read- 
ily. During the accelerated advance late 
in May, Clark stepped in and settled the 
debate in favor of Tate.*- 

To improve the handling of Class II 
and IV supplies, the Fifth Army quar- 
termaster instituted an effective "back- 
order system" that eliminated much du- 
plication of effort. Any item that could 
not be furnished upon call was extracted 
from the requisition and recorded in a 
special file. As the item was received 
from the base section — and all back 
orders were filled first — the Class II and 
IV Section advised the waiting unit that 
the item was available. Once the troop 
imits became confident that the army 
quartermaster was vigilantly trying to 
make the system work effectively, the 
depots suffered less harassment from 
duplication of requisitions and repetition 
of inquiries. ^^ 

Early in the Italian campaign, Sullivan 
introduced several other organizational 
or procedural innovations designed to 
maintain the flow of supplies or provide 
better services. Since rugged mountains 
and muddy, inadequate roads limited use 
of tanks, trucks, and tractors, the Class 



*^ (i) Admin Dir 34, Hq Fifth Army, 24 May 44. 
(2) Study, Class I System, Fifth Army, prepared by 
Lt. Col. Francis A. Troy, Class I Officer OQM, 31 
Dec 44. Sullivan Diary. 

*•■' (1) Opn Memo 42, OQM Fifth Army, 25 Feb 44, 
sub: Back Order Procedure— Class II and IV. (2) 
Rpt, MTOUSA Stock Control Team, sub: Inspec- 
tion of QM Class I, II, and IV Installations, 4-11 
Mar 45. Sullivan Papers. 



II and IV Section found "an orphan on 
its doorstep" in the responsibility for 
animal pack units." The first phase in 
carrying out this task was a loose one 
whereby animals and equipment were 
purchased locally and issued directly to 
divisions. Moving toward greater cen- 
tralization. Fifth Army assumed control 
of the pack mule companies (largely 
recruited from Italian personnel), organ- 
ized several more from elements of the 
inactivated 2d Cavalry Division, and 
established remount depots in corps 
areas. Near the end of hostilities more 
than 4,500 mules and 150 horses were 
operating under the Fifth Army deliver- 
ing supplies to troops in otherwise inac- 
cessible areas. Other special projects 
included the establishment of mobile 
bath and clothing exchanges, which 
enabled combat troops to obtain both a 
shower and a complete change of cloth- 
ing at the same location, and the mainte- 
nance of emergency stocks of essential 
clothing at ration railheads. Together, 
these two projects helped reduce the dis- 
comforts of living and fighting for month 
after month in dirt and mud, rain and 
snow. 

As anticipated, the office of the army 
quartermaster had to ignore the McNair 
theory of delivering supplies directly to 
the regiments. At Salerno, Sullivan be- 
lieved Quartermaster supply might be 
better controlled by the use of the con- 
solidated requisition and a divisional 
distribution point. *° The 36th Division 



" Sullivan MS, pp. 76-77. 

*■'' (1) ASF G-4 Questionnaire, QM 4r,th Inf Div, 
19 Oct 43; AGF G-4 Questionnaire, QM 36th Inf 
Div, 11 Oct 43. Both in OQMC MED 319.1. (2) 
Rpt 493, AGF Bd MTOUSA, 19 Jun 43, sub: QM 
Questions. OQMG MED 31925. 



106 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



quartermaster wanted to set up addi- 
tional supply points even further forward 
for the convenience of his regiments, 
battalions, and companies. Though 
reported a year later, the typical army 
railhead and divisional distribution point 
system adopted in Italy was that of the 
gist Infantry Division: 

We had checkers along with the trucks 
so they could count the items drawn at the 
Army Class I distribution point. These men 
also break down the supplies drawn when 
they return to their own Division Class I 
distribution point in Monghidere. The 
trucks rolled along without any noticeable 
delay when drawing rations from the vari- 
ous stacks of rations at the Army distribu- 
tion point. The Army Class I distribution 
point on Route 65 and a little north of 
Traversa is so arranged that trucks move 
in a counterclockwise manner loading 
strongly cased items first with bread and 
meats loaded last. The complete circle re- 
quired approximately one hour that day, 
then the convoy of trucks were off for the 
Division Class I distribution point. The 
division's DP is nothing more than placing 
[sic] the loaded rations trucks in a single 
column along the right side of a road 
through the town so that trucks of the vari- 
ous regiments and drawing organizations 
can back their trucks against the Division 
trucks and load the various items of issue 
authorized for the day. By noon the distri- 
bution was completed with nothing on the 
road to indicate that a DP existed there.*'' 

In June 1944, a procedure had been 
tested whereby the army delivered ra- 
tions directly to the 34th Division's dis- 
tribution point, but the results were gen- 
erally unsatisfactory and the experiment 
was short-lived. In one instance the divi- 
sion distribution area became so con- 



srested with unit vehicles that schedules 
were upset and unit trains were late in 
returning to make their own issues. On 
several other occasions trucks were lost 
from the army convoy and rations arrived 
without bread or canned goods. When 
the division quartermaster could not 
assure safe delivery by furnishing guides 
for the army train and maintaining liai- 
son with the army Class I dump, the pre- 
ferred system of permitting Quartermas- 
ter organic vehicles to haul the division's 
rations was restored.*" 

Inevitably, this use of organic QM 
transportation for purposes not contem- 
plated by the AGE planners meant that 
other Quartermaster functions would 
suffer. To be sure the divisional QM 
companies, with their fifty-one 2i/4-ton 
trucks, could haul all the supplies nor- 
mally required by a division. But the 
transportation function amounted to 
considerably more than hauling the sup- 
plies forward. The trucks had to be 
loaded and unloaded, and the supplies 
broken down and distributed to the 
using units. Although the War Depart- 
ment had restored the service platoon to 
the divisional Quartermaster company 
in July 1943, it still proved necessary to 
call on the combat units of the division 
for assistance. 

With the service platoon restored, 
Quartermaster companies found that the 
varied tasks they had to perform still 
taxed their existing structure. Salvage 
and captured enemy materiel were evac- 
uated to army ration points by divisional 
Quartermaster companies. Service per- 
sonnel often worked long hours with 
attached graves registration teams. Com- 



^"Lti, 1st Lt Morris L. Kutcher to QM MTOUSA, 
13 Jan 45, sub: Narrative of Temporary Duty with 
Fifth Army. Sullivan Papers. 



^•Ltr, CQM 34th Div to CG 34th Div, 
sub: QM Opns. Hist Br OQMG. 



Jul 44, 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



107 



plaining that in its first year in Africa, 
Sicily, and Italy his division had never 
been afforded bathing or wasiiing facili- 
ties of any kind — except such "individu- 
ally devised ones as tin cans, helmets, and 
other makeshift installations" — General 
Trnscott, commander of the 3d Infantry 
Division, called for a mobile shower and 
laimdry unit as a permanent attachment. 
Concerned with the same problem, the 
34th Division, after seventy days in 
combat, instituted a system of bath and 
clothing exchange imits which made for 
better supply and maintenance of indi- 
vidual clothing while serving as a booster 
of morale.^- The facilities offered by 
such a imit consisted of shower, clean 
to^vel, complete change of under and 
outer clothing, field jacket, and occasion- 
ally shoes and leggings. Permitting the 
elimination of barracks bags by all except 
motorized elements, this service relieved 
the strain on transportation facilities. 
Such economies took on added im- 
portance in the spring of 1944, as the 
long months of position warfare came to 
an end, and the troops began to move 
again. 

Pursuit to the Arno 

The long-awaited offensive on the 
Gustav Line got under way on 11-12 
May 1944. By 18 May the British had 
captured Cassino, the objective of more 
than six months of grueling mountain 
warfare. A week later the main body of 
Fifth Army relieved the Anzio force, and 
on 5 June American troops crossed the 



Tiber and moved through Rome. The 
Eternal City was of more political than 
logistical importance, and few Quarter- 
master troops lingered there. The day 
after Rome fell, Clark ordered Fifth 
Army to capture Leghorn and Pisa, and 
Quartermaster operations continued to 
be caught up in a war of movement. 

At no time during the advance was it 
possible to conduct extensive ground 
reconnaissance for dump sites, installa- 
tions, adequate road nets, and protective 
facilities. The office of the army quar- 
termaster selected sites from maps at 
night and hoped the morning reconnais- 
sance would justify the selection. Rapid- 
ity of movement demanded that support 
units spread out more thinly than before. 
One railhead company had to disperse 
its personnel among six widely located 
dumps simultaneously, while the sterili- 
zation and bath troops more than once 
advanced to designated points, only to 
find that the troops they were to serve 
had departed. To determine supply 
needs, Sullivan placed his officers on 
wheels, particularly his Class I and III 
staffs, and they toured all receiving 
dumps each day, returning at night to 
order out issues for the next day. The 
system worked and in one case supplies 
moved into a location while the engi- 
neers were still clearing the area of 
mines and before the battlefield had been 
cleared of the dead.*^ 

One activity was centralized during 
the period of the rapid advance. Late in 
Jime all bakery companies were assigned 
to the Headquarters, 94th Quartermaster 



*^ Ltr, Trnscott to Clark, 7 Nov 43, sub: Deficien- 
cies in Supply and Equip; Ltr, Asst AG Fifth Army 
to llnits, 8 Oct }4, sub: Lessons Learned in Combat, 
34th Inf Div. Both in Sullivan Papers. 



*° (1) Sullivan MS, pp. 94-97. (2) ist Lt. Francis 
A. Smith, "Quartermaster in The Rome Drive," 
qMTSJ. VL No. 4 (22 December 1944), 8-9. (3) 
Ltr, Sullivan to Tate, 9 Jun 44, sub: Hist Data. 
Sullivan' Papers. 



108 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Battalion. The 94th also assumed re- 
sponsibility for the operation and admin- 
istration of the Field Range Inspection 
Group and the Typewriter Repair Unit. 
One of its officers, a trained refrigeration 
engineer, made all the necessary recon- 
naissance and preparations for taking 
over cold storage facilities. To expedite 
the delivery of bakery products, the 94th 
used mattress covers to deliver bread, 
operating the system on the principle 
used by milk companies in exchang- 
ing bottles through a common clearing 
house. ^° Each mattress cover was marked 
with the numerical designation of the 
bakery company to which it belonged. 
In strict compliance with the "no con- 
tainer, no bread" principle an empty 
mattress cover was exchanged for a full 
one at the various railheads, and each 
day the soiled covers were delivered to a 
central excliange. They were then sent 
to laimdries which gave 24-hour cleaning 
service for both covers and baker's uni- 
forms. 

Fortunately, the sea was at Sullivan's 
side for his administrative march. Six 
days after advancing troops crossed the 
Tiber, Civitavecchia, a small port forty 
miles northwest of the Italian capital, 
was already secure and a convoy of LST's 
entered the badly damaged harbor. Once 
restored, Civitavecchia received daily 
3,000 tons of supply. On 17 June Piom- 
bino fell and engineers soon restored the 
city sufficiently to convert it into a base 
dump. The speedy exploitation of these 
two anchorages, as well as San Stefano 
midway between them, made it possible 
for the office of the army quartermaster 



to spot rations and fuel directly behind 
the Fifth Army's advance, which was 
never more than twenty-five miles inland. 
One half of the Piombino dump was 
allocated to the storage of rations, and 
by September 1944, when it was trans- 
ferred to Peninsular Base Section, Piom- 
bino contained 25,000 tons of B rations 
and 12,000 tons of combat rations, or 
what has been described as one-fifth of 
all Class I supply in Italy at that time.^^ 

Supported by tanker ships and favored 
by the narrow front, the army quarter- 
master assumed normal base section POL 
responsibilities from the time the Civita- 
vecchia port was operative until long 
after the Arno River was reached. Be- 
cause railroads and pipelines could not 
keep pace with the advance, the 204th 
Quartermaster Gasoline Supply Battalion 
momentarily controlled all can-filling 
activities and all distribubion of packaged 
fuel to Fifth Army and to base section 
troops operating within the army area. 
Believing this imposed no hardships on 
the 204th, Sullivan recommended to both 
Clark and petroleum officers in Naples 
that the system be continued as Fifth 
Army advanced into the northern Apen- 
nines." Thus, until early November, 
the 204th handled the dual mission, not 
turning the job over to Peninsular Base 
Section until the pipeline was extended 
within the army's boundary from Leg- 
horn. 

Fifth Army reached the Arno in six 
weeks, and on 19 July Leghorn, Italy's 
fourth major port, fell to its tired, dwin- 
dling troops. Its assigned strength had 
dropped from 248,989 to 153,233 troops. 



^ (1) Sullivan MS, p. loi. (2) Article, Lt Col 
Eckhardt R. Keller, Bed Sacks Make Good Bread 
Sacks. Hist Br OQMG. 



^ Memo, ExO OQM for Sullivan, 16 Jun 44. 
Sullivan Diary. 

^^ QAf Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 64-65. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



109 




QM Depot at Leghorn, August 1945. 



Over a period of seven weeks seven vet- 
eran Allied divisions had been contrib- 
uted to Seventh Army for Anvil. Sulli- 
van was fortunate in keeping his quarter- 
master organization intact. By 23 July, 
Fifth Army had cleared thirty-five miles 
of the south shore of the Arno from the 
Ligurian Sea to the Elsa River. Twenty 
miles to the east of the Elsa, the British 
occupied Florence on 4 August. Cul- 
tural considerations now contributed to 
a decision not to cross the Arno immedi- 
ately above Leghorn. Such a crossing 
might have made good progress across the 
open Pisa plain, but would have inevi- 
tably involved stubborn street fighting 
within the city itself, where the Leaning 
Tower was only the most famous of many 
historical monuments. Further inland, 
reconnaissance indicated that the Ger- 



mans had organized their defenses along 
the northern slopes of the Arno valley 
with their usual thoroughness. Forcing 
such positions would require deliberate 
preparations by strong and well-equipped 
troops. Accordingly, during the remain- 
der of August, Fifth Army confined its 
activity to aggressive patrolling and artil- 
lery exchanges. Troops were in need of 
rest, equipment required replacement 
or repair. Salvage problems mounted. 
Meantime, Sullivan himself was at work 
on Quartermaster plans for Clark's next 
objective, and behind the Fifth Army, 
pipeline quartermasters were advancing 
by sea to establish a new base in Leg- 
horn. ^^ 



(1) Ibid., ch. IV. (2) Sullivan MS, pp. 92-111. 



110 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Within a week after that city's fall, an 
advance party from the 6ist Quartermas- 
ter Base Depot reconnoitered the port 
area and decided that the wholesale depot 
would remain outside the urban limits. 
A few fixed installations such as the cold 
storage and ice plant, bakeries, dry clean- 
ing and laundry plants, and the salvage 
and solid fuel yards would be located in 
Leghorn itself. As a depot site the 6ist 
selected a sandy, well-drained, partially 
wooded area a few miles north of Leg- 
horn and almost in range of enemy artil- 
lery. It had ample access to railroads 
and roads, including the national system 
of express highways (autostradi). Here 
was a challenge to carry out Quartermas- 
ter theories of depot arrangement and 
management which suburban Naples 
never offered. Engineers accepted the 
layout plan and began to transform an 
open field into a centralized depot ex- 
tending three and a half linear miles. 

Confident that the Germans would be 
unable to send their few remaining 
bombers against the depot, the 6ist 
quickly brought its facilities into opera- 
tion. It was not too soon. Despite its 
exposed position, the port of Leghorn 
was in full operation by mid-September, 
discharging from 8,000 to 10,000 tons 
daily. As the new depot expanded, pipe- 
line quartermasters of Peninsular Base 
Section made their final organizational 
adjustment. During October the policy 
makers of Quartermaster Section, Penin- 
sular Base Section, were consolidated 
with the operators of the 61st QM Base 
Depot. On 1 November 1944 COMZONE 
NATOUSA (SOS NATOUSA) became 
COMZONE MTOUSA, when the name 
of the theater changed. For the next 
twenty days General Middleswart as 
Quartermaster, COMZONE MTOUSA, 



was supporting both Fifth and Seventh 
Armies.^* 

Close Support in the Gothic Line 

Conditions in Italy were such in early 
September 1944 that the Allies decided 
to resume the offensive. Fifth Army's 
objective was Bologna, but first it had to 
pierce the Gothic Line, an elaborate 
transpeninsular defense belt high in the 
Apennines. Running from Leghorn and 
Pisa on the Ligurian Sea to Rimini on 
the Adriatic, a series of defensive lines 
stood as the German shield against a land 
advance from the south into the Po val- 
ley, Italy's only major industrial area. 
To breach the lines, Clark's mission was 
to assault the barrier frontally above 
Florence on the road to Bologna while 
the British attacked northwestward from 
Rimini. A simulated attack was called 
for in the Pisa sector. During daylight 
smoke pots, vehicular maneuvers, and 
camouflaged dummy installations de- 
ceived the enemy. By night Fifth Army 
sideslipped secretly toward Florence and 
the difficult problem of shifting quarter- 
master resources laterally from an estab- 
lished axis of advance had to be dealt 
with. For concealment, most supplies 
were trucked to the Florence area from 
Piombino, which remained a Fifth Army 
base. 

From his supply base at Piombino, 
Sullivan's move toward Florence cut 
across the grain of rough country.^^ Quar- 



^ (i) QM Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 62-63. (2) 
Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 31. 
(3) On 20 November 1944 Middleswart was in Di- 
jon, France, with a new headquarters. See below, 
p. 126. 

^^ (1) Sullivan MS, pp. 112-22. (2) Article, 1st Lt 
Alanson Crandall, CO 3839th GS Co, Camouflage in 
Operation for Gasoline. Hist Br OQMG. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



111 



termaster companies and their equip- 
ment followed in the immediate wake 
of, or even preceded, the combat troops. 
Deployment of mobile laundries and 
bakeries required the use of many trucks, 
and their movements had to be co-ordi- 
nated closely with the Highway Trans- 
portation Section. Secrecy and cultural 
considerations denied Sullivan the tise 
of Florence itself as a supply base. South 
of the city the army Class I dump, built 
to contain a million rations, opened in 
an olive grove. The trees afforded nat- 
ural camouflage. By stringing nets over 
the food stacks, quartermasters turned 
the \vhole dimip into a model of conceal- 
ment. A few miles down the road a 
typical vineyard of the countryside of- 
fered a loo-acre site for the POL dump. 
Before the attack, a million gallons of 
gasoline lay in containers concealed 
among the twisted 12-foot-high grape- 
vines. Back in Castelfiorentino, a sub- 
depot of the Class II and IV depot held 
clothing reserves. Until the lid of silence 
on tactical plans was lifted, the bath, 
salvage, and graves registration support 
units remained around rest areas. For 
his first ten days in a rest area, each man 
received a 10 percent increase in B 
rations. Refrigeration vans brought 
fresh meats, butter, and eggs to the rest 
areas. Clothing was replaced, repaired, 
or salvaged. In August, laundries han- 
dled 2,1 10,697 pounds of wash. A salvage 
repair company joined Fifth Army and 
together with Italian seamstresses, tail- 
ors, and dry cleaners, relieved the Quar- 
termaster office of the task of taking 
clothing to Leghorn for repair. ''•^ 

After veteran French and Moslem 
troops left Fifth Army for France late in 



Jidy, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force 
arrived to take their place. The new 
allies needed support. Their menu 
varied only slightly from the American 
B ration, but additional sugar for the 
extra coffee the Brazilians drank, plus 
lard, salt, mustard, and black pepper 
were immediate requirements. Sullivan 
predicted that the Brazilians' cotton 
clothing would afford inadequate pro- 
tection in Apennine altitudes, and so he 
included American woolens in his cloth- 
ing requisitions for the South Ameri- 
cans." 

The weather was ideal on 10 Septem- 
ber, when the Fifth Army laimched its 
attack. The immediate plan called for 
the clearing of Highway 65 through Futa 
Pass whose dominating heights the Ger- 
mans held. Under pressure of a three- 
pronged attack the Germans Avithdrew 
from the pass on 21 September. Over 
the next month the front widened and 
four U.S. infantry divisions, the 85th, 
the 88th, the 91st, and 92d (Negro), plus 
a Brazilian combat team and the 6th 
South African Division engaged in a bit- 
ter fight for dishearteningly small gains. '^^ 
Apparently the Gothic Line defenders 
were under orders to die at their motm- 
tain posts rather than yield. Terrain 
obstacles became extremely difficult to 
cross. Incessant rains changed the piti- 
fully few roads into seas of mud. In mid- 
October snow fell impartially on friend 
and foe, blanketing the front. Quarter- 
master support suffered. When, on 26 
October, Sullivan, to his surprise, learned 
that two divisions were to be pulled out 
of the line and "put under canvas," he 



'Sullivan MS, pp. 124-40. 



^'' QM Supply ill Fifth Army, pp. 54, 59, 64, 79. 
M Ibid., pp. 52-53. 



112 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



feared the worst/'^ On 2 November, 
when Fifth Army was within ten miles 
of Bologna, Clark halted the offensive. 
Wire was strung, mine fields were laid, 
and combat troops began rotating out of 
the line for much needed rest and 
refitting. 

In the autumn battles quartermasters 
learned the supply implications of 
fighting conducted largely by individual 
soldiers from gun emplacements and 
foxholes. There were no spectacular 
armored charges, no vast sweeps and 
wheels by large formations, and no far- 
reaching military decisions. Quarter- 
masters coped with unusual supply prob- 
lems by exploiting local resources, by 
filling a system of base dumps and depots 
with over a week's supply, and by keep- 
ing a two-day level at all railheads. 
Unprecedented demands for Class II, 
especially the new Mi 943 items, came 
from the front lines. Even though the 
new wet-cold weather clothing had been 
ordered as early as May 1944, none 
reached Sullivans' shelves until mid- 
October. Late shipment from NYPE, 
the slow editing of requisitions, and the 
movement through Leghorn hobbled 
efforts to clothe the troops. Estimates 
based on low maintenance factors re- 
sulted in a shortage of wool socks. To 
correct this situation, Sullivan resorted 
to action through command channels. 
Shortages in stoves became critical dur- 
ing this period. Hospital priorities for 
space heaters could be barely met. For 
relief a Florentine industrialist made 
8,000 stoves complete with pipes, spark 
arrestors, and tent baffle plates.*'" 



^* Sullivan Diary, 26 Oct 44. 

«» (1) QM Supply in Fifth Army, ch. IV. (2) Class 
II supply is discussed in detail in Chapter VII, 
below. 



To deliver supplies directly to gun 
emplacements, foxholes, and outposts, 
additional Italian pack companies were 
rushed into use. Mule casualties ran 
high. When the fighting stopped, 1,000 
mules had been replaced. Demand for 
Class II and IV pack equipment also far 
exceeded expectations. Hemp rope be- 
came a prime casualty of the battle. To 
keep the mule and his telltale load from 
tarrying near outpost positions, soldiers 
cut the lash ropes. They seem never to 
have heard of untying knots. 

The arrival of fresh German troops, 
giving the enemy numerical superiority, 
had been one of the major reasons for 
calling off Fifth Army's fight. ^'^ In De- 
cember, Fifth Army's new commander, 
Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., 
expressed some fear that the Germans 
intended to roll up his left flank and 
crash into Leghorn. At the same time 
as Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rund- 
stedt's Christmas Holiday offensive in 
the Ardennes, Kesselring's forces also 
pushed southward out of the Gothic 
Line. By i January 1945 Truscott's front 
had been restored, but the shift of U.S. 
strength from Florence to the left of the 
line had weakened the attack along the 
Bologna road. The Fifth Army conse- 
quently required reinforcements. The 
92d Division was brought up to full 
strength, the Brazilian Expeditionary 
Force fielded a full division, and the first 
contingent of a major new unit, the 86th 
Mountain Infantry Regiment, 10th 
Mountain Division, arrived at the front. 
Allied instructions early in January 1945 
directed Truscott to regroup Fifth Army 
in order to resume the offensive in April. 
Until then limited objectives were 



QM Supply in Fifth Army, ch. V. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



113 



selected to confuse the Germans and to 
obtain favorable positions for the spring 
attack. 

Fearful trials of terrain and tempera- 
ture threatened to upset Truscott's time- 
table."- Between 2 November 1944 and 
the advent of spring, snow, ice, rain, 
mud, and floods tested routine Quarter- 
master operations to the utmost. Nor- 
mally, the quartermaster office could 
have handled the job in a relatively short 
time with a small number of support 
troops. But here along the Gothic Line 
every activity became a major engineer- 
ing feat. Behind the lines the quarter- 
master workload increased as a large 
number of troops rotated in and out of 
the front lines, and as more and more 
Italian soldiers and civilians took over 
support duties. Rest hotels, camps, and 
rest areas were opened in Florence, in 
Montecatini, and within each corps area. 
Also, the older established center in 
Rome continued to operate. During the 
period B ration issues increased 7 per- 
cent over the normal troop strength. To 
break the monotony of eating bread, Sul- 
livan in vain asked for more lard, baking 
powder, and yeast to permit field baking 
of pastries. In an effort to keep the men 
clean, bath and clothing exchange units 
processed almost 1,000 more men a day 
than had been served previously. Laun- 
dries handled over three million pounds 
of wash each month in addition to their 
current hospital and salvage mission. 
Clothing, tentage, and camp stoves were 
requisitioned in increasing quantities. 
Solid fuel demands increased as ther- 
mometers dropped toward zero on the 
Fahrenheit scale. 

In mid-January 1945 Peninsular Base 



rbid. 



Section established a rail transfer point 
at Montecatini and Quartermaster distri- 
bution problems were eased considerably. 
At Florence the ration reserve was 
reduced from a 15-day to a 10-day level. 
Each day 280 tons of packaged POL 
arrived in the army Class III base dump, 
and there was a surplus to cache away 
for an armored spearhead in the spring 
offensive. Back orders of clothing and 
equipment declined sharply from a high 
of 1,880 requests in November 1944 to 
603 by 31 March 1945. With staged 
supply working better than ever before 
through Leghorn and Montecatini, Sul- 
livan completed the initial issue of all 
standard items of winter clothing and 
equipment to the units in the line by 
the end of December. About the same 
time special wet-cold weather clothing, 
allocated by the G-4, Colonel Tate, was 
distributed along the front. 

In this period of static warfare remount 
service expanded greatly and graves 
registration activities contracted. Dur- 
ing the winter five new Italian pack 
companies joined the ten already at the 
front. Beginning in January 1945, the 
first troops of the 10th Mountain Divison 
began to arrive in Leghorn, bringing 
with them most of their own pack equip- 
ment. Sullivan had understood that the 
10th also planned to carry its own pack 
animals overseas. Some did arrive in 
Italy, but most did not see service in the 
high Apeninnes. By 1 April, the Fifth 
Army quartermaster was responsible for 
a total of 4,692 mules and 168 horses. 
But as Fiftii Army began the descent into 
the Po valley, armor and its mechanized 
trains re-entered the battle, and pack 
trains became surplus. 

During the winter of 1944-45 only 
one cemetery — Mount Beni — was opened 



114 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



along the Gothic Line. The site was far 
from ideal. Not only was Mount Beni 
located out of line in relation to the 
deployment of troops but a rocky sub- 
soil added materially to cemeterial work. 
Yet in spite of the distances involved in 
the evacuation work of the graves regis- 
tration teams most bodies were carried 
to the cemetery within thirty-six hours. 
In March 1945 another cemetery at 
Granagliano was laid out near Highway 
64, and at the same time the cemetery at 
Castelfiorentino far to the rear of the 
army was turned over to Peninsular Base 
Section. 

At mid-April Fifth Army debouched 
into the Po valley, and a war of move- 
ment began. Modena replaced Florence 
as Fifth Army's base area on 29 April 
1945. In following the advance, Penin- 
sular Base Section closed out the Monte- 
catini rail transfer point and shifted its 
operations to Florence. With the break- 
through Sullivan's Class I and III staffs 
fanned out behind the troops. On 2 
May Quartermaster railheads were serv- 
ing an area that embraced 38,000 square 
miles, a figure based on the 190 miles 
between Modena and the Brenner Pass 
and a lateral distance of 200 miles. Near 
the center of this area, Mirandola be- 
came the site of Fifth Army's final ceme- 
tery. Now that the better communica- 
tion system of the Po valley spread below 
the Fifth Army, the fifteen Italian pack 
companies rested behind the lines. Yet 
on the day Germany surrendered, the 
10th Mountain Division, after beginning 
its ascent into the Italian Alps, hur- 
riedly placed a call for two pack com- 
panies. 

The last two weeks of the Po Valley 
Campaign introduced spigot quartermas- 
ters to new problems of support. The 



first involved captured and abandoned 
enemy resources. The speed with which 
Fifth Army advanced and fanned out left 
its quartermasters not only with a tre- 
mendous salvage problem but a touchy 
one in the face of fratricidal warfare. 
Pro-Allied Italians considered their fas- 
cist fellow-countrymen simply traitors to 
be shot or lynched on sight, rather than 
prisoners of war, so U.S. personnel had 
to replace ISU's at Italian prisoner of 
war camps. The army quartermaster 
was greatly handicapped by the lack of 
security measures to protect captured 
food stocks. Feeding and supplying 
some 300,000 German prisoners of war 
required immediate attention until the 
Germans could institute their own sys- 
tem luider Allied control. After 8 May 
1945 Sullivan turned to redeployment 
and postwar problems, and having found 
time to review his work, he wrote in his 
diary: "At no time was the Army ever 
held up for the lack of any Quartermas- 
ter supplies throughout the entire Italian 
Campaign." ^^ 

Supporting Seventh Army's Landing and 
Push Northivard 

Fifth's Army's advance from the Tiber 
to the Arno and in the northern Ap- 
ennines had been greatly handicapped 
by lack of sustained comunications zone 
Quartermaster support. At the ports of 
Civitavecchia, Piombino, and Leghorn, 
spigot quartermasters initially controlled 
much of their own wholesale supply sup- 
port. Nevertheless, this was not by de- 
sign of SOS NATOUSA. From 9 June 
1944 until mid-November 1944 pipeline 
quartermasters throughout the Mediter- 



» Sullivan MS, p. 186. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



11. 



ranean area ^vere extended to the limit 
in meeting strategic changes. The strat- 
egy which had created this situation had 
been roughly shaped by the great Allied 
conclaves of 1943. At Cairo the Sextant 
Conference of November-December 1943 
finally drew the threads of Operation 
Overlord together, and charted an in- 
vasion of southern France (Operation 
Anvil) to occur simultaneously with the 
landings on the beaches of Normandy. 
Early in January 1944 the outline of 
Anvil was brought to the attention of 
Quartermaster Section, SOS NATOUSA, 
and within a few weeks Middleswart's 
planners had joined with a new team of 
spigot quartermasters of Headquarters, 
Task Force 163, in hammering out a de- 
tailed set of requirements for Anvil.''* 

If planning steps alone could have as- 
sured Quartermaster readiness to sup- 
port the last large-scale amphibious op- 
eration against the Germans, Anvil 
(later known as Dragoon) would have 
been a logistical triumph. Yet planning 
is always subject to military develop- 
ments, and between 8 January and 15 
August 1944, Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, experienced several false 
starts in its preparations for the forth- 
coming operation. Over the same peri- 
od Quartermaster planning machinery 
benefited greatly from major adminis- 
trative changes in both SOS NATOUSA 
and theater organization. After 20 Feb- 
ruary 1944, Middleswart's position was 
improved by having a G-4 Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, on hand through which 



"* (1) Ltr, Hq Force 163 to All Concerned, 7 Feb 
41, sub: Phasing of Maintenance— Draft Plans. Mid 
dleswart Papers. (2) Memo, Maj. Daniel L. Lane, 
QM Plans Sec, for Middleswart, 17 Oct 44, sui): 
Rpt of Activities QM Planning Br Covering Opn 
Dragoon. Middleswart Papers. 



Quartermaster plans could be co-ordi- 
nated with higher and adjacent staffs. 
The new G-4 staff soon became a clear- 
ing house for logistical information and 
carefully integrated all the sound Quar- 
termaster data and precepts which had 
been accumulated and successfully ap- 
plied to past Mediterranean operations. 
The Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, was thus in a much better 
position to work out the requirements 
and phased requisitions of the Office of 
the Quartermaster, Task Force 163 (to 
be known as Seventh Army after March 
1944) . 

In beginning its work the Planning 
Branch, Quartermaster Section, was par- 
ticularly interested in the number of 
troops involved in Anvil, their vehicles, 
and their animal strength. As yet 
Quartermaster requirements could be/ 
figured only in general terms. There 
was no need to tie supply to a firm tac- 
tical plan, but the troop basis of 450,000 
men was an essential planning figure. 
Broken do^vn, this total included 175,000 
U.S. troops and 150,000 French and Mos- 
lem troops who were then fighting in 
Italy, and 125,000 French and Moslem 
troops in North Africa. Middleswart's 
planners assumed that U.S. troops com- 
ing out of the line in Italy would re- 
quire a 75 percent replacement of all 
items of clothing, and a 50 percent re- 
placement of all allowances of individ- 
ual and organizational equipment. Re- 
cent replacement factors, applied to the 
troop basis, ^vould easily round out re- 
quirements of subsistence, clothing, and 
general supplies. At this time calcula- 
tion of packaged POL needs ^vas not a 
Quartermaster responsibility. Momen- 
tarily, Planning Branch prepared the list 
of materials-handling equipment to be 



116 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



used by each of the other technical serv- 
ices but on 1 May this responsibility was 
handed over to Ordnance Corps plan- 
ners. 

On 1 March 1944 the skeletonized 
Headquarters, Seventh Army, with Gen- 
eral Patch commanding, moved from 
Sicily to Mostaganem, Algeria, and the 
army quartermaster. Colonel Massey, as- 
sumed the responsibility for preparing 
requisitions covering the first sixty days 
of the operation. Subsequent supply 
was the responsibility of Quartermaster 
Section, SOS NATOUSA. Specifically, 
Massey co-ordinated his job with a small 
staff under Maj. Daniel L. Lane of the 
Planning Branch. Once agreement was 
reached, Lane turned the details of req- 
uisitioning over to the various commod- 
ity branches in the Quartermaster Sec- 
tion. Here it was determined what 
items ^vere in the theater and hoAv much 
supply should be ordered from NYPE. 
Middleswart issued instructions to freeze 
immediately items available in the base 
sections. In requisitions on NYPE, 
Quartermaster Section requested a 15 
percent increase for all items in order to 
compensate for losses from enemy action 
or the hazards of shipping. After con- 
sulting the War Department, NYPE ap- 
proved the increase for the period from 
D-day to D plus 30. 

On 12 April, amidst the co-ordination 
of phased requisitions and the prepara- 
tion of requirements for the period 
from D plus 31 to D plus 60, word came 
from the War Department that special 
loading of cargo ships for the operation 
had been suspended, and that all re- 
quests for direct quartermaster ship- 
ments were canceled. On 31 May SOS 
NATOLISA notified the base sections 
that those reserves set aside for a special 



operation could be made part of the sec- 
tion's general inventory once again. 
The development reflected the unsettled 
circumstances surrounding Anvil. The 
operation had originally been planned 
to take place simultaneously with 
OVERLORD, but revisions had expand- 
ed the latter until it required all avail- 
able Allied landing craft, even including 
a number earmarked for Southeast Asia. 
Once it was clear that Anvil would have 
to be postponed until after the Over- 
lord landings, Montgomery and Church- 
ill proposed to cancel the whole opera- 
tion. The Prime Minister, in particu- 
lar, questioned the usefulness of a land- 
ing in the south of France and favored 
using the Seventh Army in the Balkans. 
But Eisenhower felt very strongly that 
an undefended right flank would slow 
down his advance across France, and in 
the end his vieu's prevailed. All this 
was hidden from Mediterranean quar- 
termasters. Suddenly on 9 June they 
learned that Anvil — in the meantime re- 
christened Dragoon — had been rein- 
stated.*'^ 

The reconstituted Seventh Army — like 
the Fifth in Italy — was a polyglot aggre- 
gation, including three veteran U.S. di- 
visions, the 3d, 36th, and 45th, Head- 
quarters, VI Corps, an airborne task 
force, some Polish units, and French 
Army B. Once the tactical units were 
nominated. Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, revitalized its earlier plan- 
ning and prepared supply requisitions. 
No serious shortages of Quartermaster 
items were disclosed except for special 



'^'' The argument over Anvil was one of the great 
strategic debates of the war; Eisenhower's Crusade 
in Einope, pages 281—83, gives a one-sided version, 
but with the merit of brevity. See also. Harrison, 
Cross-Channel Attack, pp. 164—73. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



117 



waterproof bags and ^vaterproof covers 
for small arms. Massey insisted that a 
divisional reserve of some 36 items, rang- 
ing from 1I/2 rolls of toilet tissue per 100 
men in the assault force to 1 handker- 
chief per individual, be approved. 
Agreement was reached, but with the 
understanding that the reserve of Class 
II and IV items was to be deducted from 
requisitions subsequent to D plus 30. 

Army and theater quartermasters de- 
veloped a strong ration reserve for Sev- 
enth Army.*"' It had two sound features. 
First, before embarking, each division 
quartermaster was told to load a 10-day 
level of balanced B rations onto all avail- 
able organic transportation. Second, 
and extremely important, was the float- 
ing depot reserve of B rations stowed 
a^vay on cargo ships in the form of "flat- 
ting." *'" Realizing that it would be nec- 
essary to use cargo vessels for shuttle 
service after the original invasion car- 
goes were discharged, the Transporta- 
tion Section, SOS NATOUSA, asked the 
Quartermaster Section to make available 
quantities of supplies not immediately 
needed in the invasion. Middleswart 
set up a 45-day reserve and a 10-day op- 
erational level of Class I, II, and IV as 
flatting, the major item being 21,000 tons 
of subsistence. Transportation Service 
allocated 600 tons (dead-weight) in each 
of the 135 cargo ships that would partici- 
pate in the D to D plus 30 intratheater 



*• (1) Memo cited n. 64 (2). (2) Logistical History 
of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 113-14. 

"" In each ship, hatch Number 2 was loaded to the 
turn of the bilge, and hatches 4 and 5 to the level 
of the shaft alley; the flatting was floored over, and 
the cargo destined for discharge in the theater at an 
early date, principally wheeled vehicles, was stowed 
atop the flatting. Thus Quartermaster supply filled 
up dead space that was normally wasted on the 
ship. 



convoys for Quartermaster use as flat- 
ting. Thus long before D-day Quarter- 
master supplies were being flatted on 
ships at ports in the United States. 
Most Quartermaster flatting arrived in 
good condition except for bagged sub- 
sistence, which was spoiled by rodents, 
oil drippings, and penetrating fumes. 
This reserve of rations was over and 
above the estimated requirements for the 
operation. 

During the summer of 1944 the assault 
forces were assembled, mounted, and 
launched in the face of inbound ship- 
ments for Allied forces in Italy and 
against the overriding priority of the 
cross-Channel invasion. General Patch 
kept his Quartermaster supply needs to 
the absolute minimum. He also at- 
tempted to create a support command 
for Seventh Army, but one serious gap 
developed in its organization.'''- The 
French element of Seventh Army insis- 
ted that the Americans perform the 
quartermaster function until French 
Base Section 901 was operating in south- 
ern France. The French wanted to 
shoot Germans and emphasized combat 
duty at the expense of logistics. In ad- 
dition, the French pointed out that they 
had not specifically trained any spigot 
quartermasters among the warlike tribes- 
men from Morocco or Algeria. In this 
delicate situation, Patch delegated full 
authority to Larkin to enter Seventh 
Army and to organize, train, and equip 
quartermaster service units and further 
the development of supply procedures 
along U.S. Army lines. As the weeks 
wore on, this was a difficult task. In 
Italy the French troops ^vere moving out 
of the line toward Naples and had to 



•'^Larkin remarks cited n. 20(1). 



118 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



share the crowded Neapolitan staging 
area with the Americans. Having re- 
ceived enough rations and maintenance 
equipment at Naples to see them 
through the assault phase of Dragoon, 
the French divisions assembled at the 
British-operated ports of Brindisi and 
Taranto. Here they ^vere far removed 
from SOS NATOUSA, and efforts to cre- 
ate a French Army SOS were shelved. 
On Corsica, Larkin had little time left 
before D-day to create a miniature SOS 
for the French elements there. His ef- 
fort to have the French Army help itself 
by organizing a quartermaster support 
command before D-day failed. This 
had to wait until a base section was in 
operation in France. 

Procurement plans for southern 
France were strikingly similar to current 
procedures in Italy, despite differences 
in the tactical situation and in the polit- 
ical status of the t^vo areas. Procure- 
ment and allocation responsibilities for 
Dragoon were delegated to the G-5 Sec- 
tion, Seventh Army, and since that army 
included a very large French component 
the hope ^vas that a really effective civil 
affairs liaison structure could be organ- 
ized. That hope was only partially real- 
ized, for the senior liaison officers were 
supplied by the French Committee of 
National Liberation (CFLN) , and they 
were only made available after a politi- 
cal dispute about the future status of 
the CFEN in liberated France had been 
settled, a matter of days before the land- 
ing. Since the area would ultimately 
come under SHAEF command, that 
headquarters issued all basic policy direc- 
tives, and also provided nearly half of 
the necessary civil affairs personnel. For 
quartermasters, the only significant in- 
novation ^vas that they would be respon- 



sible for civil affairs relief supplies, 
Avhich had previously been handled by 
civil affairs personnel in the Mediter- 
ranean theater. Invasion currency was 
made available as in previous cam- 
paigns, and the fact that its status as 
legal tender had not yet been clarified 
was of minor consequence to purchasing 
and contracting officers. Since French 
law provided for requisitioning through 
either local government offices or the na- 
tional administration, procurement op- 
erated without major difficulties. On 23 
October 1944 the Allied Powers recog- 
nized the CFEN as the provisional gov- 
ernment of France, and the same day 
General Charles de Gaulle signed a de- 
cree establishing a French zone of the in- 
terior. Thereafter, except in the com- 
bat zone, all Allied requisitions were 
handled through one French office in 
Paris. On 20 November, SHAEF re- 
lieved AFHQ of all remaining responsi- 
bilities for procurement or allocation of 
supplies in southern France.'^" 

One of the essentials of sustaining the 
^vater-borne invasion was a good port. 
Patch and Larkin planned to use Tou- 
lon and establish there a first-class base 
section. For personnel, SOS NATO- 
USA turned once more to the shrinking 
North African bases as a source of staff 
officers and operating units. 

Originally drawn from the Head- 
quarters and Headquarters Company, 
21st Port, at Oran, Coastal Base Section 
began to assemble in Naples early in 
July. On the 21st Col. James L. Whel- 
chel arrived in that city from the United 
States and \vas named quartermaster of 



«" (1) Komer, Civil Aliairs, ch. XXI. OCMH. (2) 
For SHAEF procurement functions, see Chapter 
XII, below. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



19 



the new support group behind Seventh 
Army.'" He immediately contacted 
Massey and learned that Seventh Army 
itself would handle its Quartermaster 
mission between D-day and D plus 30. 
On D plus 31, Coastal Base Section's 
quartermaster and the Headquarters 
and Headquarters Company, 70th 
Quartermaster Base Depot, which was 
being formed at Civitavecchia and as- 
signed to Whelchel, would assume Mas- 
sey's supply support. This was normal 
procedure, but Whelchel noted that 
phasing plans did not provide for the 
arrival of the first half of the 70th until 
D plus 45, with the remainder arriving 
by D plus 60. Similarly Quartermaster 
troops attached to the 70th Base Depot 
had been phased to arrive at a late date 
in France. Whelchel set about revising 
the schedule so as to call for the arrival 
of half the 70th on D plus 20 and the re- 
mainder by D plus 30. The arrival of 
Quartermaster service imits was corres- 
pondingly speeded up. 

Before leaving Naples, Quartermaster 
Section, Coastal Base Section, attempted 
to solve two administrative problems. 
One concerned the work of co-ordinat- 
ing quartermaster support with French 
Base 901 for French Army B. The lan- 
guage barrier was far less serious than 
the lack of understanding of how the 
French handled their quartermaster 
services of supply. Under the French 
system, the army commander directly 
controlled his pipeline quartermasters. 
Moreover, four distinct services within 
the French Army performed the work of 
the Quartermaster Corps in the U.S. 
Army. These were as follows: Service 
d'Intendence (supply) , Service d'Es- 



Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 43. 



sence (POL) , Service Veterinaire (re- 
mount) , and Service de Sante (laundry 
and bath) . Whelchel foresaw that his 
organization would have difficulty in 
working with Army B unless French of- 
ficers were constantly on hand to ex- 
plain their supply situation. The sec- 
ond problem was the future location of 
Quartermaster installations in southern 
France. The trend of thinking in Head- 
quarters, Coastal Base Section, envisaged 
the creation of major facilities in the 
Toulon area. Each technical service 
was allocated area sectors around Tou- 
lon within which major depots were to 
be established. Whelchel felt that the 
Toulon area had no promise. Accord- 
ingly, he selected a number of alternate 
sites in the vicinity of Marseille, a port 
of entry which had achieved consid- 
erable importance for American quar- 
termasters in World War I. 

In mid-August 1944 the assault phase 
of Dragoon was successfully carried out 
along an extensive lodgment area of the 
Cote d'Azur. Apart from some haras- 
sing POL shortages, Massey and the di- 
vision quartermasters adequately sup- 
ported the beachhead operations. Sup- 
ply over the beaches at Saint-Raphael, 
Sainte-Maxime, and Saint-Tropez — 
about halfway between Nice and Mar- 
seille — continued for several weeks dur- 
ing which the Beach Control Group was 
assisted by more than thirty-five officers 
and men from the Coastal Base Section. 
Seventh Army paused long enough to 
seize Marseille before striking up the 
Rhone valley. On the afternoon of 26 
August Whelchel moved into that city 
and spent the remainder of the month 
in locating and requisitioning sites he 
had previously selected from maps in 
Naples. By mid-September Seventh 



120 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Army had swept northward, swinging 
around the Swiss border toward Belfort 
Gap between the Vosges and Jura 
Mountains. Other elements pushed to- 
ward the Italian frontier and toward 
Bordeaux, creating additional problems 
of supply and transportation on both 
wings. On n September Dijon fell. 
On 12 September contact was made with 
Allied forces racing across France from 
Normandy, and Seventh Army now took 
its place on the southern end of the Al- 
lied line, ready for the coming battle of 
Germany." 

On 15 September AFHQ transferred 
the operational control of Dragoon to 
Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expedi- 
tionary Force (SHAEF) at Versailles. 
Four days later French Army B was re- 
designated I St French Army and passed 
to the control of 6th Army Group, Gen- 
eral Devers commanding. Momentarily, 
Seventh Army was reduced to a single 
corps of three divisions. But it soon 
received more corps as ist French Army 



shifted from left of Seventh Army to the 
extreme right of the Allied line. Upon 
reaching the forest-clad defiles of the 
high Vosges, the Seventh Army slowed 
down considerably, and support com- 
mands found themselves no longer sup- 
porting a war of movement. 

By D plus 30 Dragoon's tactical ad- 
vance had developed to the stage antici- 
pated by D plus 120. Inevitably, logis- 
tical support lagged behind with respect 
to distances and transportation. At the 
beaches the Seventh Army quartermaster 
on 14 September relinquished his support 
mission to Col. William E. Barrott of 
the 70th Quartermaster Base Depot. ^^ 
Meantime, subunits of the 70th had 
moved into Marseille and began op- 
erating Quartermaster facilities within 
Coastal Base Section, shortly renamed 
Continental Base Section (CONBASE). 
Initially the 70th had only one service 
battalion to spread among the various 



" For participation in the southern France am- 
phibious landings on 15 and 16 August 1944, the 
following Quartermaster units received the arrow- 
head award (GO 70, 20 August 1945): 



3d QM Co 

36th QM Co 

45th QM Co 

46th QM GR Co 

Hq and Hq Det, 52d 

QM Bn 
Hq and Hq Det, 53d 

QM Bn 
93d QM Rhd Co 
94th QM Rhd Co 
138th QM Truck Co 
144th QM Truck Co 
Hq and Hq Co, 147th 

QM Bn 
202d QM Car Co 
Hq and Hq Det, 240th 

QM Bn 
Hq and Hq Det, 259th 

QM Bn 



Pathfinder Plat, 334th 
Airborne QM Depot 
Co (Airborne Opera- 
tion, 15-16 Aug 44) 
Hq and Hq Det, 528th 

QM Bn 
Hq and Hq Det, 530th 

QM Bn 
549th QM Laundry Co 
829th QM Truck Co 
830th QM Truck Co 
831st QM Truck Co 
832d QM Truck Co 
1 1 loth QM Co, S Gp 

Avn 
1146th QM Co, S Gp 
Avn 



1974th QM Truck Co 
3250th QM Service Co 
3251st QM Service Co 
3252d QM Service Co 
3253d QM Service Co 
3277th QM Service Co 
3286th QM Service Co 
3287th QM Service Co 
3288th QM Service Co 
3289th QM Service Co 
3299th QM Service Co 
3300th QM Service Co 
3333d QM Truck Co 
3334th QM Truck Co 
3335th QM Truck Co 
3336th QM Truck Co 
SSSy^h QM Truck Co 
3338th QM Truck Co 
3339th QM Truck Co 



3340th QM Truck Co 
3353^ Q^ Truck Co 
3354th QM Truck Co 
3356th QM Truck Co 
3357'^h QM Truck Co 
3360th QM Truck Co 
3425th QM Truck Co 
3426th QM Truck Co 
3427th QM Truck Co 
3633d QM Truck Co 
3634th QM Truck Co 
3856th QM GS Co 
3894th QM GS Co 
4053d QM S Co 
4133d QM S Co 
4134th QM S Co 
4135th QM S Co 
4136th QM S Co 
6690th QM GR Co 



" (1) Hist 70th QM Base Depot. Hist Br OQMG. 
(2) Lt. Col. Floyd W. Oliphant, "QM_i88-B, at 
Miramas," QAIR, XXV (September-October 1945), 
18-19, 112-14. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



121 



installations on the beaches and at ports. 
A tew French Senegalese troops assisted 
the Quartermaster battalion, and some 
civilians were hired as laborers. The 
arrangements for the local French au- 
thorities to pay salaries under lend-lease 
procedines were imsatisfactory. Delays 
in payment were frequent, and laborers 
failed to stay on their jobs. Slowly the 
great port of Marseille began to recover 
and Quartermaster supplies arrived. Yet 
the ever-widening gap between Patch's 
advance and his base section support had 
to be filled. To remedy the situation, 
the stay of Continental Base Section on 
the coast had to be cut short. By the 
end of September SOS NATOUSA had 
transformed CON BASE into an Advance 
Section (CONAD), and moved it up 
behind the newly designated fith Army 
Group. On 30 September Colonel Whel- 
chel arrived in the CONAD headquar- 
ters city of Dijon, 275 miles above Mar- 
seille. The next day the newly desig- 
nated Delta Base Section assumed con- 
trol of the coastal area. 

During operations around Dijon, the 
Quartermaster Section, CONAD, was 
confronted with several organizational 
problems not encoimtered by the coastal 
base or the theater quartermasters." 
Because the First French Army was 
simidtaneously drawing supply from 
both Delta Base Section and Seventh 
Army, it was difficult to compute issues 
and to determine whether the quantities 
dra^vn were within the prescribed allow- 



" (1) Memo, ExO OQM for QM GONAD, 14 Nov 
44, sub: Notes of Weekly Conf; Memo, Chief Sup- 
ply Div OQM CAS for QM CAS, sub; Min G-4 
Mtg, 22 Nov 44; Narrative History, QM Sec Hq 
CAS, for Nov 44. All in Hist Br OQMG. (2) Rpt, 
Class II and IV Supply Br, OQM Hq SOLOC. 
Middleswart Papers. 



ances. To solve the problem, and to 
impress the French with the need to 
improve their stock accounting practices, 
CONAD brought several French officers 
into the Quartermaster Section. Thus, 
the Quartermaster, French Base 901, be- 
came the deputy to the Quartermaster, 
CONAD, and similarly, the French Class 
I officer became the assistant to his oppo- 
site number in CONAD. At first many 
vexing problems arose, and Whelchel, 
after the war, recalled:"* 

These problems had to be solved diplo- 
matically and as quickly as possible to avoid 
any interruption of the flow of adequate 
supplies to the French Army. On the other 
hand, we soon discovered that the French 
were not the slightest embarrassed by asking 
for more supplies than were required. Re- 
gardless of all supplies furnished the French 
at this time, we were unable to satisfy their 
demand, so it became necessary to investi- 
gate the complete supply system of the 
French Army. It soon developed that 
where their requisitions indicated no sup- 
ply of an item on hand, that did not mean 
that there was actually none of that item 
available. 

The basic peculiarity of the French sys- 
tem was that once supplies were ear- 
marked for a specific unit they were no 
longer considered depot assets. In fair- 
ness to the French supply officers, it must 
be pointed out that they were being 
called upon to supply considerably more 
than the official troop basis of First 
French Army. The French divisions were 
erected with enthusiasm in their home- 
land, and speedily recruited their units 
to more than T/O strength. Whole vol- 
unteer battalions joined the French 
forces, although SHAEF refused to in- 
clude them in the official troop basis, or 



Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 43. 



122 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



to provide them any logistical support. 
On 30 September CON BASE was au- 
thorized to clothe and equip 12,000 
locally recruited replacements for the 
French First Army, but this was less than 
a quarter of the numbers actually in- 
volved. Efforts to equip the others from 
French civilian soinxes were not very 
successful. Under the circumstances, the 
tendency of French regular units to 
share supplies and equipment with their 
volimteer comrades was imderstandable, 
even if not authorized." ' 

Another question which arose shortly 
after CONAD's arrival in Dijon Avas 
whether POL supply should be a Quar- 
termaster responsibility."'' The problem 
was not entirely new in the Mediter- 
ranean area for base section quartermas- 
ters. Even at this comparatively late date 
there was no definite decision as to 
whether the mission was performed 
better by a separate POL section on 
CONAD's special staff or by a POL 
branch in the Quartermaster Section, 
CONAD. The original support plan for 
Dragoon assembled all QM gasoline 
supply companies, Engineer pipeline 
companies, and certain QM service com- 
panies imder a separate section, com- 
posed of experienced Quartermaster 
Corps and Engineer Corps officers. 
When SOS came to Marseille, the POL 
section began operations and placed 
storage facilities in the port area. Ar- 
rangements were made for the receipt 
and storage of pipeline materials, and 



barges were obtained to transport gaso- 
line as far as Lyon. When CONAD was 
constituted, the POL personnel remained 
with Delta Base and the CONAD quar- 
termaster assumed the supply responsi- 
bility of all Class III products. Whel- 
chel handled POL for two months; by 
the middle of December 1944 the Engi- 
neer-operated pipelines had reached St. 
Jean de Losne, and as a natural conse- 
quence a separate POL Section was 
organized within CONAD. Supply of 
solid fuels remained Avith the Quarter- 
master Section." 

The concept of an advance section 
was ne^v to Mediterranean quartermas- 
ters, and working relationships between 
CONAD and Delta Base Section had to 
be developed through trial and error. 
Quartermaster units in the area Avere 
allocated on the logical fjasis of assigning 
all mobile repair, sterilization and bath, 
laundry, and salvage units to CONAD, 
Avhile units operating fixed installations 
remained ^vith Delta Base. Agreement 
on supply operations ^vas more difficult 
to achieve. CONAD contended that it 
had very limited facilities for storing 
and distributing supplies, and operated 
principally by reconsigning loaded 
freight cars to specific combat units. One 
observer from Middleswart's office criti- 
cized this arrangement as placing too 
heavy a burden on Delta Base, but in 
October 1944 CONAD ^vas too short of 
supply personnel to operate any other 



'"' (1) Marcel Vigneras, Rearmins^ the Frencli. 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington, 1957), pp. 3i3-i4- 323-26. (2) Official 
Diary for CG Seventh Army, vol. II, 15 August 1944 
to 31 January 1945, entry for 30 September. OCMH. 

'" Memo, Chief Exec Div for QM CAS, 6 Dec 44, 
sub: Weekly Conf. Hist Br OQMG. 



"'' (1) Narrative History QM Sec Hq CAS for No- 
vember 19(4, December 1944, and January-June 
i94r,. Hist Br OQMG. (2) Littlejohn, ed., Passing 
in Review, ch. 43. (3) Continental Advance Section, 
Communications Zone, European Theater of Opera- 
tions, U.S. Army, CONAD History, 3 vols. (Heidel- 
berg, Germany: Aloys Griif, 1945), I 132. (4) Rup- 
penthal, Logistical Support, II, 436. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



123 



way. When applied to salvage repair, 
the policy of keeping fixed units in the 
rear proved impractical, since it in- 
volved excessive back-hauling. Once 
the period of swift piusuit was over, it 
was possible to solve such problems by 
shifting iHiits or redefining responsi- 
bilities.'* 

The Quartermaster Section of 
GONAD was in the imique position of 
handling stipport which emanated from 
two different parts of France. ^^ It re- 
ceived operating imits from north- 
western French ports as well as Mar- 
seille. The 71st Quartermaster Base 
Depot came to Dijon from England, 
arriving on 26 November. When the 
59th Quartermaster Base Depot was 
transferred southward to Delta Base 
Section the 71st established itself at 
Vesoul, a mid-point between Dijon and 
Nancy, and served as the only Quarter- 
master base depot in GONAD until mid- 
February 1945. By this time SOLOG 
had been absorbed by ETOUSA, and 
tlie consolidation of the continental com- 
mimications zone was complete.*"* 

When Delta Base Section arrived 
from Gorsica on 1 October 1944 to re- 
place GONBASE, the 70th QM Base 
Depot was already carrying out the fidl 
complement of quartermaster activities. 
By late September the 70th was operating 
twenty-two separate installations in and 
aroimd Marseille, a nimiber greater than 
the combined total of facilities being 



™ (1) GONAD History, I, 80. (2) Memo, Brunson 
for QM COMZONE MTOUSA, 29 Oct 44, sub: Rpt 
of Inspection Trip. Littlejohn Collection, box 8. 

•"Hist Hq and Hq Co 71st QMBD; Hist Hq and 
Hq Co 73d QMRD. Both in Hist Br OQMG. 

^The final development of the continental depot 
system, including support for 6th Army Group, is 
discussed in Chapter XIH, below. 



supervised by all the other technical 
services. Most of this activity was retail 
support. But the 7()th had made one 
wholesale shipment of woolen clothing 
and packaged POL by air direct to Sev- 
enth Army dumps beyond Besan^on. 
These supplies were unloaded from 
shipside at Marseille and flown nearly 
400 miles to the north without any 
opportunity for correct documentation 
and issue procedures. A number of 
bales of clothing had been processed by 
Italian prisoners of war in North Africa 
and marked as Glass X (suitable only 
for issue to POW's).*^ Upon delivery, 
Massey reacted quite strongly against the 
unserviceable items, but closer examina- 
tion revealed that the bales had not been 
properly marked. 

While Delta Base Section's primary 
mission was wholesale support, the rapid 
expansion of its territory from the Swiss 
and Italian borders to the Bay of Biscay, 
and to Spain and the Mediterranean on 
the south, created many internal supply 
problems. Base Section troops grew in 
numbers imtil 190,000 men were scat- 
tered over 110,000 square miles. On 19 
October Gol. John P. Neu was appointed 
Quartermaster, Delta Base Section, and 
his first job was to establish three major 
distribution centers to carry out his pri- 
mary and secondary missions. The first 
was at Lyon, where a rail center demol- 
ished by the Germans had become a 
bottleneck in forwarding supplies to 
GONAD. Neil's second center was estab- 
lished at Nice, where the U.S. Riviera 
Recreational Area had undertaken one 
of the biggest projects of its kind for 



^Classification of salvaged articles is discussed irt 
Chapter VIH, below. 



124 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



American soldiers.^- By May 1945 this 
rest area was serving the entire European 
theater, and had under requisition hotels 
with accommodations for 16,163 troops. 
In general, front-line soldiers visiting 
Nice and Cannes had to be completely 
reclothed. The normal leave period was 
ten days, and the project constituted a 
problem of feeding and outfitting the 
soldiers, both en route to and while on 
the Riviera. Swimming trunks, ladies 
bathing suits, bath towels, soap, and 
recreational supply constituted a retail 
mission of the utmost emergency. Neu 
was expected to fill the order overnight. 
Biarritz on the southwest coast of France 
developed into a similar leave center; its 
capacity was about 5,000 troops."*^ 

Marseille and vicinity became the 
largest of the supply points.^* Neu 
inherited the Care du Prado as a Class I 
wholesale dump and the Gare Arenc as 
a ration retail point. For fast moving 
operations Gare du Prado was unsuit- 
ably located. It was in a rail yard in the 
center of the city, surrounded by narrow, 
crooked streets which hobbled military 
traffic. In light of the huge ration re- 
serve shipped as flatting and now coming 
ashore, Neu abandoned the Gare du 
Prado and transferred his wholesale 
operations to a new dump at Rognac, a 
village with an excellent classification 
yard for rail lines reaching to all parts 
of France. Beside a large olive orchard 
the 240th Quartermaster Service Bat- 



'*' (i) Ltr, Col James W. Younger, QM 12th Army 
Group, to Littlejohn, 5 Oct 44. Hist Br, OQMG. 
(2) After the German surrender, a "G.I. Univer- 
sity" here was a still larger project recjuiring QM 
support. 

^QM SupiAy in ETC, I, 77. 

" Lt. Col. Floyd W. Oliphant, "QM Service in 
Southern -ft-ance," QMR, XXVI, No. 4 (January- 
February 1947), 19-23, 76-78. 



talion, with Lt. Col. Edward R. Samuels 
commanding, quickly organized the Rog- 
nac dump. The 619th Depot Supply 
Company, the 3091st Refrigeration Com- 
pany, and the 4134th Quartermaster 
Service Battalion arrived in Rognac and 
the ration reserve began to grow. Two 
trains a day arrived from the port and 
at the same time daily trains outloaded 
for 6th Army Group. Rognac was also 
located on the Etang de Berre, a lake 
directly connected to Marseille by the 
Rhone Canal. Soon barge traffic re- 
lieved the pressure on delivery via rail. 

From the start Rognac was a round- 
the-clock operation. Approximately 
2,500 U.S. service troops were employed 
daily, plus a battalion of French SOS 
troops who assisted in loading and check- 
ing of French Class I supplies. More 
than 3,000 Italian service troops worked 
at the Rognac dump until they were 
replaced by 6,000 German prisoners as 
the supply problem mounted. Using 
roller-type conveyors, the prisoners could 
unload twelve freight cars at one time, 
routing the cases over the feeder con- 
veyors to a main artery that traversed 
the center of the dump. Branch con- 
veyors then fed off the main system to 
the mounting stacks of foodstuffs. Per- 
ishables began to arrive in great amounts 
and the engineers constructed three 
enormous warehouses. The polyglot 6th 
Army Group received many different 
African and Asiatic ration components 
from Rognac, and also bread from the 
large bakery operated there by prisoners 
of war. 

With an excellent port complex be- 
hind him and with the Rognac works in 
operation, Neu next organized a Class II 
and IV depot at Miramas. Located forty 
miles northwest of Marseille and origi- 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



125 



nally built by the French in World War 
I as a munitions depot, Miranias (desig- 
nated as Depot Q-188-B) made an ideal 
storage site. Its excellence had not been 
ignored by tiie German supply corps. 
Its tile and concrete warehouses required 
renovation, but its trackage facilities and 
rolling acres of space captivated a depot 
manager's imagination. The 622d Rail- 
head Company arrived on 17 November 
and was joined nine days later by the 
240th Depot Supply Company. Though 
the depot's mission ^vas primarily whole- 
sale support, its retail operations were 
by no means confined to one class of 
supply. By rail, truck, and barge, a 
steady flow of Quartermaster items 
moved into Miramas. Daily trains left 
for the north, and frequently on a mo- 
ment's notice the 240th prepared ship- 
ments of clothing for air delivery to 
Seventh Army. Hard labor ^vas com- 
pounded by misery from another quar- 
ter. Miramas and Rognac stand in the 
direct path of the violent mistral — the 
cold, dry, sixty-mile-an-hour wind that 
whips down from the Alps and sweeps 
toward the low pressure areas of the 
Sahara. The mistral persisted for three-, 
six-, and even nine-day blows, playing 
havoc with canvas and cord and pene- 
trating layers of wool and sateen. Idle 
freight cars, imless thoroughly blocked 
on the rails, moved as runaways before 
the wind. With an infrequent snow, the 
steady mistral's intensity rolled the flakes 
into pellets of ice that stung like hail 
against the men's faces. In spring the 
mistral died down, and the watershed of 
the Rhone then yielded a boimtiful 
variety of fresh produce for procuring 
quartermasters. 

Purchasing and contracting agents of 
the 70th QM Base Depot contacted the 



local markets and merchants for food 
and end-items. During the last quarter 
of 1944 local procurement resulted in 
saving an estimated 9,634 ship tons. As 
in Naples and Leghorn, Marseille itself 
fostered quartermaster services to the 
line. Using commercial facilities, the 
167th Bakery Company was producing 
and distributing its products as early as 
2 September. With the help of the 
engineers, the 814th Sterilization and 
Bath Company, together with the 7071st 
and 7171st Laundry Companies brought 
a large plant covering fourteen build- 
ings into operation by 6 October. Mean- 
while the 223d Salvage Collecting Com- 
pany opened a scrap metal yard at Frejus, 
and, witii the help of the 3068th Salvage 
Repair Company, supervised a reclama- 
tion program which used prisoner of 
war labor exclusively. Beyond Mar- 
seille, the 70th Base Depot Company 
through its registrars of graves assumed 
control of cemeteries as Seventh Army 
fought to the Moselle River. Cemetery 
quartermasters relocated two burial 
grounds, left the one at Montelimar un- 
disturbed, and effected a beautification 
project at all cemeteries. 

With every passing day and each 
advancing mile Seventh Army moved 
beyond the range of effective support by 
the Mediterranean theater and closer to 
that of the European. Organizationally, 
spigot and pipeline quartermasters, vet- 
erans of Mediterranean warfare, ap- 
proached the day when they would make 
their final staff adjustments within a 
framework of command that embraced 
two army groups, several field armies, 
and a theater support command replete 
with regulating stations, advance sec- 
tions, intermediate sections, base sec- 
tions, and depots. In November 1944, 



126 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



General Devers relinquished command 
of MTOUSA to devote full time to 6th 
Army Group. Behind the 6th, Larkin 
moved his headquarters to Dijon and 
constituted SOLOC (Southern Line of 
Communications) to superintend the 
logistical system of southern France and 
to arrange for its own subsequent merger 
with COMZ ETOUSA, the northern 
theater support command. One imme- 
diate effect of activating SOLOC was to 
narrow the authority of MTOUSA to 
Italy, the islands, and North African base 
sections which were being rapidly closed 
out. AFHQ and Peninsular Base Section 
divided between themselves the supply 
mission of the old COMZONE MTO- 
USA, the successor of SOS NATOUSA. 
Before leaving Caserta for Dijon, Mid- 
dleswart and Ramsey, the latter remain- 
ing as the new Quartermaster of 
MTOUSA, discussed the division of 
their respective staffs and reviewed 
the nature and the problems of supply 
action for Fifth Army and Peninsular 
Base Section. On 20 November 1944 Gen- 
eral Middleswart became SOLOC quar- 
termaster, bringing ^vith him his deputy. 
Colonel Brunson, all of his branch 
chiefs, and key staff officers. -'^^ The in- 
tegrity of the team Middleswart had 
built in Oran after February 1943 is indi- 
cated by the fact that ninety-five Quar- 
termaster members of the SOLOC roster 
had served in SOS NATOUSA. 

Because 6th Army Group and SOLOC 
had been anticipated long before each 
headquarters was organized, Middle- 
swart had attached one of his staff offi- 
cers, Capt. John Lapperre, and two 
enlisted men to serve in liaison to the 



SOS advance group at Lyon. Thus 
Lapperre was present with members of 
the skeleton staff of 6th Army Group in 
its formative period. As an observer, 
Lapperre provided Middleswart with 
information that smoothed the way for 
SOLOC's assumption of 6th Army 
Group's support. In Dijon Middleswart 
organized his SOLOC staff on the 
pattern of Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA. There were two exceptions. 
First, graves registration functions were 
transferred to COMZ ETOUSA, and 
secondly, a Local Resomces Branch was 
added to handle local procurement of 
coal and special merchandise. 

Once at work, the new staff encoim- 
tered a new administrative practice that 
was contrary to its Mediterranean train- 
ing.*'' SOLOC quartermasters found 
themselves without control of supplies 
for which they were responsible. 
GONAD — actually a large regulating sta- 
tion directly behind Seventh Army — for- 
warded Quartermaster requisitions from 
army direct to Delta Base Section with- 
out considering what was expected on 
the basis of previous requisitions. Mid- 
dleswart objected to this lack of co- 
ordination through SOLOC. Review- 
ing the unbalanced stocks that resulted, 
the Quartermaster Section, SOLOC, 
noted that GONAD was proposing to 
perform a co-ordination mission "for 
which it had neither the experience nor 
personnel." This judgment was less a 
commentary on the competence of the 
personnel than on GONAD'S eagerness 



^ Hist QM Sec Hq SOLOC ETOUSA, 20 Nov 44- 
31 Jan 45. Middleswart Papers. 



""Ltr of Instrs. Hq SOLOC ETOUSA OQM. ifi 
Jan 45; Ltr of Instrs. Hq SOLOC ETOUSA OQM, 
20 Jan 45, sub: CONAD Requisitions; Ltr of Instrs, 
Hq SOLOC ETOUSA OQM, 25 Jan 45, sub: Pro- 
cedure CONAD Monthly QM Requisitions by Delta 
Base Sec. All in Middleswart Papers. 



SUPPORTING THE ARMIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE 



127 



to make deliveries to Seventli Army 
dumps regardless of the effect on reserve 
supplies. On Middleswart's reconnnenda- 
tion, Larkin decided that GONAD should 
continue as the direct support com- 
mand, but that Quartermaster Section, 
SOLOG, should control GONAD'S stock 
level and relay GONAD'S requisitions to 
the coastal support section after they had 
been appropriately reviewed. GOMZ 
ETOUSA ^vas entirely in agreement 
with this procedure, since that head- 
quarters demanded a similar exact ac- 
coiuiting in SOLOG's requisitions on 
NYPE. Beginning in November 1944, 
General Littlejohn, the ETO quarter- 
master, reviewed Middleswart's requisi- 
tions before passing them on to the zone 
of interior. Littlejohn had a serious 
difference of opinion with Larkin and 
Middleswart regarding exact statements 
of amounts "on hand and due in," which 
by ETO regulations had to be noted on 
the face of each requisition. SOLOG 
practice had only required a monthly 
balance sheet, which Littlejohn judged 
to be insufficient and also based on in- 
accurate statistics. Middleswart pro- 
tested that his office overhead did not 
provide personnel for such elaborate 
bookkeeping, but ultimately the ETO 
view prevailed, and Golonel Rosaler, 
Littlejohn's specialist in inspecting and 
indoctrinating field installations, in- 
stalled the ne^v accoimting system.**" 

Difficulty in reaching the desired 60- 
day stock level as well as in balancing 
the stocks on hand troubled Quarter- 



master Section, SOLOG.'*'' Reaching 
that level by 1 December 1944 was vir- 
tually impossible because more and 
more troops were transferred to the right 
of the Allied line in southern France. 
This the Dragoon planners had never 
envisaged. As October waned, a French 
armored division and two American in- 
fantry divisions, lacking much of their 
authorized equipment, were shifted 
from GOMZ ETOUSA support to the 
SOLOG zone. Three more divisions 
originally destined for Overlord were 
enrolled on the Dragoon roster in No- 
vember, and an additional three arrived 
in December. With nine new divisions 
present, SOLOG's level of supply fell 
sharply. Quartermaster service troops 
strained to support a troop basis three 
times the size of their capability. To 
assist in handling the workload, GOMZ 
ETOLISA diverted a substantial number 
of service units and relief was also ac- 
corded when SOLOG authorized a 50 
percent personnel increase in Middle- 
swart's office. As a further measure to 
bolster the lengthening supply line from 
Marseille, GOMZ provided an additional 
base section staff. On 9 February the 
former headquarters of the Brittany 
Base Section activated Burgundy District 
at Dijon as a subordinate unit of 
GONAD. This was, in effect, an inter- 
mediate section, brought in so that 
GONAD could move forward to a new 
location at Nancy. ^'■' Three days later. 



^ (1) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 9. 
(2) Memo, CQM for QM UKB, 14 Dec 44. sub: 
Preparation of Requisitions in U.K. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. XXL item 51. (3) Quoted in 
Memo, Middleswart for Rosaler, 18 Jan 4r,, sub: 
SOLOC Requisitions. Littlejohn Collection, sec. 
IIL 



*«Hist QM Sec Hq SOLOC ETOUSA, 20 Nov 
44-31 Jan 45; Training Memo i, Hq SOLOC 
ETOUS.\ OQM, 23 Jan 45. Both in Middleswart 
Papers. 

«> Memos, CQM for Chief Pers Div OCQM and 
G-4 COMZ, 12 Oct 44, sub: QM Troop Reqmts to 
Support Southern Group of Armies. Littlejohn 
Reading File, vol. XXIX, items 54, 55. (2) QM 
Supply in ETO, I, 75-77. (3) See lielow, ch. XIIL 



128 THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 

SOLOC headquarters, also at Dijon, was vastly enlarged version of the assign- 
dissolved and its responsibilities divided ment he had held in the summer of 
between GONAD and COMZ ETOUSA. i942.9« 
On 12 February 1945 Middleswart was 
named deputy to the Chief Quartermas- 

ter, COMZ ETOUSA, returning to a »» Ruppenthal, LogwaVa/ Support 11, pp. 378-83. 



CHAPTER V 



Rations for Mediterranean Troops 



Feeding the combat soldier was no 
simple task, particularly when he came 
from a country enjoying a high standard 
of living and campaigned in foreign 
countries too devastated or too poor to 
support their own populations adequate- 
ly, let alone feed an invading army. 
The daily deliveries and issues of food 
to troops in the Mediterranean theater 
provide a record of planning and ex- 
perimentation, calculation, and frustra- 
tion. The normal time lag between or- 
der and shipment demanded that re- 
quirements — often based on tactical 
plans which were tentative at best — be 
estimated far in advance of consumption 
dates. For transportation, Mediterra- 
nean quartermasters were dependent on 
agencies charged with world-wide re- 
sponsibilities, Avhich inevitably made de- 
cisions incomprehensible to those at the 
overseas operating level. Packaging, a 
task which seems simple to the uniniti- 
ated, required constant attention if auto- 
matic food deliveries were to be made 
promptly each day. These were only a 
few of the factors which affected Quar- 
termaster activities in the distribution of 
Class I supply. 

The kind of food consumed by the 
American soldier depended more on his 
location at any given moment than on 
any other factor. As a general rule, if 
the man was in a position to be fed 
from the kitchen of his own unit he 



could at least expect to receive the B ra- 
tion composed of nonperishable meats 
and vegetables, and bearing a resem- 
blance to the menu served to garrison 
troops at home. Moreover, Quartermas- 
ters in the Mediterranean area made 
every effort to exploit whatever refriger- 
ated facilities and local agricultural re- 
sources were available in the hope of 
supplying unit messes with fresh meat, 
fruits and vegetables, and dairy prod- 
ucts. In many combat situations, the 
quartermaster had no choice but to pro- 
vide the individual soldier with pack- 
aged operational rations. 

The Packaged Rations for Combat 

The development of packaged rations 
for combat will probably stand as a 
landmark in the history of food prepara- 
tion for military forces as well as remain 
a favorite subject of conversation among 
veterans of World War 11.^ The QMC 
had long been interested in developing 
emergency rations, but funds for re- 
search and development were lacking 
and progress was desultory. Late in the 
1930's, research and development activi- 
ties were accelerated and by the time of 



^ (1) A full account is to be found in Harold W. 
Thatcher, Development of Special Rations for the 
Army, QMC Historical Studies, 6 (Washington, 
1945). (2) See also Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: 
Organization, Supply, and Services, vol. I, ch. V. 



130 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Torch, the Office of The Quartermaster 
General had standardized three types of 
packaged combat rations. 

The first type was the D ration, con- 
sisting of three 4-ounce chocolate bars, 
artificially flavored and fortified with 
sucrose, skimmed milk, cacao fat, and 
raw oatmeal flour. Containing only 1 ,800 
calories, the D ration, reminiscent of 
the "Iron" ration of World War I, could 
only be considered for use in extreme 
emergencies or as a supplement to a 
more nourishing field ration. 

The C ration — originally conceived as 
a "balanced meal in a can" — was com- 
posed of six 12-ounce cans, three of 
which w^ere meat units and three bread 
imits. It also had such complementary 
items as sugar, soluble coffee, and candy. 
The National Research Council consid- 
ered the ration's 3,000 calories adequate 
for a moderately active man. Despite 
efforts to introduce a greater variety, 
meat and beans, meat and vegetable 
hash, and meat and vegetable stew con- 
stituted the major C ration components 
throughout World War II. 

The need for a ration more nourish- 
ing than the D and more compact than 
the C led to the development of the K 
ration, which ^vas packaged in three rec- 
tangular boxes each small enough to fit 
into a pocket of the paratrooper's uni- 
form. Each box held the constituents of 
a separate meal, including biscuits and 
crackers, dextrose tablets, a can of meat, 
meat and egg, or processed cheese, plus a 
stick of chewing gum and four cigar- 
ettes. Supplementary items distributed 
as part of the ration included soluble 
coffee, concentrated bouillon, a 2-oimce 
bar of D ration, a fruit bar, lemon juice 
powder, and sugar tablets. The whole 
ration contained from 3,100 to 3,400 cal- 



ories and, because of its convenient di- 
mensions and efficient protective wrap- 
ping, was described as "a triumph of the 
packager's art." - 

In addition to the D, C, and K ra- 
tions, the OQMG made progress by late 
1942 to^vard the development of a ration 
specially packed for small isolated units, 
such as might engage in desert or moun- 
tain fighting. Designed to feed five men 
for one day, the so-called 5-in-i ration 
permitted the preparation of Avarm 
meals by troops with limited cooking ex- 
perience and even more limited kitchen 
facilities. For variety, three separate 
menus were prepared, each containing 
the breakfast, dinner, and supper meals. 
Illustrating the 5-in-i's substantial con- 
tents, one of the menus provided a 
breakfast of dehydrated tomato juice 
cocktail, whole wheat cereal, canned ba- 
con, soluble coffee, su2,ar, and canned 
milk; a dinner of dehydrated bean soup, 
canned roast beef, dehydrated potatoes, 
canned peas, evaporated pears, hard 
candy, lemon juice crystals, and sugar; 
and a supper ^vhich included meat and 
vegetable stew, vanilla pudding powder, 
soluble coffee, surar, and canned milk. 
A supply of salt, biscuits, dehydrated 
fruit spread, and a processed substitute 
for butter accompanied all cased rations. 
The nutritive value ranged from 3,400 
to 4,100 calories, and the gross Aveight of 
the 5-in-i, packed in a solid fiber carton, 
was almost thirty pounds.^ 

In varying quantities every one of 
these combat rations moved across nine 
Torch beaches. The soldiers also ate 
these rations in Tunisia. Logistical dif- 
ficulties held up the balanced B ration. 



'Thatcher, Development of Special Rations, p. 61. 
' Ibid., pp. 73-81. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



131 



so the C ration became the basic unit of 
subsistence. One of the C's most con- 
spicuous advantages over the other 
packaged rations was the fact that its 
meat unit could be heated in and con- 
simied from its own container. This 
saved mess gear cleaning — a drain on 
precious water in dry Timisia, yet other- 
wise necessary for sanitation. But litter- 
ing the roadsides \vith empty, shiny tins 
guided enemy aircraft along the routes 
and bivouacs of American convoys. 

Out of North Africa came many rec- 
ommendations for improving the C ra- 
tion. The meat and vegetable hash 
menu was not well received. The parti- 
cles of meat were too small; troops pre- 
ferred chunks of meat that could be 
che^vcd. Others proposed to substitute 
a fruit bar for one of the biscuits, to 
design a new top to prevent meat juices 
from spilling on hands or clothes, and 
to include accessories like chocolate, 
soap, cigarettes, and toilet paper. Be- 
cause the C ration was flavorless when 
cold, soldiers hoped that canned heat 
could be issued as in the British and 
German Armies.* 

From the health standpoint the North 
African campaign demonstrated the 
drawbacks of making the C ration a 
steady diet. After three days of contin- 
uous consumption, it became unpalata- 
ble. One commander reported that his 
men suffered spells of nausea and diges- 
tive disturbances after three or four 
days. Distressed by the extent of these 
disorders and hoping to obviate their re- 
currence in the next battle, the ist Divi- 
sion quartermaster cached away as many 
B rations as possible in the vehicles and 
trailers which would otherwise have 



been shipped to Sicily empty. The wis- 
dom of this move, he believed, was 
borne out by the disappearance of stom- 
ach ailments.'' 

By far the most popular combat ra- 
tion in North Africa was the 5-in-i, 
which corresponded to the components 
of the B ration. It was especially appre- 
ciated by the Americans who fought 
imder British command in Tunisia, and 
at first ate British food. Feeding the 
troops with the British Compo (Com- 
posite Pack) ration — packaged in 65- 
pound boxes and containing enough 
food for fourteen men — was technically 
very easy, since it was a balanced ration. 
But the absence of coffee from the Com- 
po and the inclusion of such dishes as 
mutton stew and kidney pie was repul- 
sive to American tastes. The roast beef, 
meat balls and spaghetti, canned bacon, 
and corned beef of the 5-in-i were more 
to the American soldier's liking. The 
dehydrated elements of the 5-in-i aroused 
a mixed reaction among the troops. 
White and sweet potatoes, onions, soups, 
and milk of the dehydrated family were 
well received, but cabbage flakes and 
tomato juice cocktail were not. Apricot 
spread and a nonperishable substitute 
for butter known as Carter's Spread 
^vere not liked. Nevertheless, once this 
ration arrived at the front, the concept 
of a small-group balanced ration was 
vindicated. Indeed, so well received 
was the 5-in-i — often called the U or 
unit ration — -that numerous recommen- 
dations came in from the ETO and 



* Pounder Rpt, p. 14. 



5 (1) Memo, Capt J. T. Quirk for TQMG, 3 Jun 
43; Memo, Chief Opns Br, Mil Ping Div OQMG, 
for Chief S&D OQMG, 28 Jul 43, sub: Extracts, 
Rpts 3d, 9th, and 34th Inf Divs. Both in OQMG 
MED 319.1. (2) G-4 Rpt, Husky, 1 Aug 43. Ist Inf 
Div, 301.4. 



132 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



NATOUSA for its conversion into a 
larger unit. Advocates of this change 
suggested that the five-man feeding unit 
was too small and that too many sepa- 
rate boxes had to be issued to larger 
groups. ** Quartermasters debated for six 
months over the relative merits of a 
lo-in-i versus a 12-in-i, the latter de- 
signed to feed the basic infantry squad 
for one day.^ The final decision favored 
the 10-in-i after Army Ground Forces 
determined that 40 pounds was the max- 
imum load that one man could con- 
veniently handle when carrying the 
package across a beach, unloading it 
from a ship or vehicle, or dropping it 
from an airplane. As designed in August 
1943, the new 10-in-i was packed into 
a well-marked, single container, holding 
a K ration for the noon meal, and two 
overpacked 5-in-i's for the morning and 
evening meals. The lo-in-i's nutritive 
value averaged 3,668 calories.® 

By December 1943, when the Italian 
campaign was three months old, the 10- 
in-i packed in five menus was issued 
along with other operational rations. At 
that time medical officers made a num- 
ber of significant observations as to the 
nutritional effect of the various pack- 
aged rations on the soldier. They noted 



" (1) Ltr, Littlejohn to Ma] Gen Carl A. Hardigg, 
OQMG, 1 May 43, and 12 incls. USFET QM 430. 
(2) Ltr, Littlejohn to Gregory, 31 Mar 43. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. X, item 88. (3) Pounder 
Rpt, pp. 8-9. 

^ Memo, AGF for TQMG, 17 Feb 43, sub: Obsv 
Rpt in Algeria and Tunisia; Ltr, Sullivan to Greg- 
ory, 17 Mar 43, and 4 Incls; Memo, Maj Clement M. 
Burnhome, OQMG Obsv, for Chief Mil Ping Div 
OQMG, 6 May 43. OQMG MED 319.25. 

* (1) Frink Rpt. (2) Ltr, Ramsey to Gregory, 27 
Mar 43. OQMG MED 319.25. (3) Ltr, Chief S&D 
Div OQMG to Littlejohn, 6 May 43. OQMG ETO 
457. (4) Ltr, Frink to Littlejohn, 24 Jul 43. Little- 
john Collection, sec. I, Subsistence File. 



that combat rations became unpalatable 
if consumed for long periods of time 
and that they Avere all responsible for 
minor but uncomfortable stomach dis- 
orders. Of still more importance was 
the increasing evidence that the soldier's 
caloric intake ^vas not enough to replace 
the energies expended in fighting. This 
deficiency was partly attributed to the 
widespread distaste for the biscuits, 
malted dextrose tablets, and synthetic 
lemon crystals found in the C and K 
rations. But even if all these rations 
were consumed, surgeons were skeptical 
of their adequacy as nourishment for 
troops in combat or for men performing 
moderate work in cold weather. 

One medical officer challenged the 
generally accepted caloric values of the 
four main types of field rations. He re- 
ported to the Fifth Army surgeon that 
the daily deficiency of troops subsisting 
on the C or K ration ranged from 400 
to 1,800 calories a day depending on the 
coldness of the weather and the type of 
physical exertion. Reports from com- 
bat soldiers verified these dietary de- 
ficiencies. Men lost ^veight and surgeons 
reported an increasing incidence of 
bodily exhaustion. Medical officers ob- 
served a decrease in body fat as well as 
a paleness of muscle substance among 
wounded patients requiring surgery. 
Vitamin deficiencies were manifested in 
skin lesions, lassitude, and neuritis. 

Some quartermasters did not agree 
\vith this medical survey. One reply to 
a questionnaire on the 10-in-i ration 
called attention to discrepancies between 
the mathematical calculations of calories 
by the National Research Council and 
the Fifth Army surgeon. Nevertheless, 
the OQMG Research and Development 
Branch continued its efforts to improve 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



133 



the rations \vhich had been developed 
by the end of 1943. It altered the C 
ration, changing the type of ste^v and 
biscuits offered, eliminating the hash, 
and adding five new meat components. 
Caramels replaced the malted milk and 
dextrose tablets in the K ration. A few 
officers favored a return to the 5-in-i, 
largely because of the impopularity of 
the K ration provided as a noon meal 
in the 10-in-i. While OQMG took rem- 
edial action to drop the K ration, to 
curtail excessive use of cold beverages, 
and to increase the caloric values to 
3,893, the modified lo-in-i of March 1944 
did not appear in the Mediterranean 
theater in time to eliminate criticism 
before the end of the war.'' 

If the diet of the fighting man was 
proving deficient, theater quartermasters 
could not simply wait for relief from 
the laboratories in the United States. 
In January 1944 the 3d Battalion, 135th 
Infantry, 34th Division, co-operated with 
Sullivan in a combat feeding experi- 
ment. During the month-long test, the 
veteran 3d Battalion was in action near 
Cassino. To determine the best pos- 
sible menu for troops beyond the reach 
of bulk rations and how to organize the 
battalion's supply system for its prepara- 
tion and issue, Sullivan authorized the 
3d Battalion to draw a fifteen-day supply 
of special rations. 

Essentially, the project called for the 



' (i) Ltr, Col Paul M. Howe to Surgeon, Fifth 
Army, 4 Dec 43, sub: Rationing and Nutritional 
Status, Fifth Army; Ltr, Sullivan to Middleswart, 1 
May 44; Ltr, Doriot to Sullivan, 16 May 44; Ltr. 
Feldman to Middleswart, 16 Aug 44; Ltr, CO 477th 
Ord Evac Co to Sullivan, 19 Apr 45, sub: lo-in-i 
Ration Questionnaire. All in Sullivan Papers. (2) 
Rpt, AFHQ-AGF Bd, 3 Dec 43, sub: Complaints 
Against 5-in-i and lo-in-i. OQMG MED 319.25. 
(3) Fifth Army History, H, 69; III, 71. 



establishment of a battalion bakery by 
borrowing equipment and men from the 
company kitchens. Bakers made such 
pastries as fruit turnovers, doughnuts, 
cookies, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate 
cakes. At the same time each company 
kitchen prepared sandwiches of ham- 
burgers, ham, egg, cheese, and jam, and 
arranged for packing and delivering 
sandwiches, pastries, and fruit juices to 
the unit's fighters. As the experiment 
continued, these additional servings were 
sent forward by mule or jeep, depend- 
ing on the terrain, on the days when C's 
constituted the basic ration. Because 
supplies of lard and other baking in- 
gredients were inadequate the experi- 
ment could not be put into general 
practice, but its popularity was reaffirmed 
the next winter, when a similar pro- 
gram was launched among the regiments 
of the 10th Mountain Division. 

For similar reasons, Sullivan author- 
ized extra issues of supplementary foods 
to combat troops when they moved out 
of the line and into rest areas. In a 
further attempt to make the C and K 
rations more palatable and to provide 
more hot beverages in cold weather, 
commanders demanded and quarter- 
masters provided extra allowances of 
coffee, canned milk, and sugar during 
both winters in Italy. When these fa- 
vorites were unavailable, the fortified 
chocolate bar — generally an unpopular 
food — was distributed as a nutritive sup- 
plement.^" 



1" (1) Rpt, Fifth Army Combat Feeding Experi 
ment, 3d Bn 135th Inf, n.d. Hist Br OQMG. (2) 
Rad 4283, Tate to CG's II and IV Corps, 30 Sep 
44; Ltr, Sullivan to Doriot, 19 Dec 44; Rad 2302, 
Tate to McNarney, 25 Jan 45. All in Sullivan 
Papers. (3) Rad L 4726, Larkin to Pence, 24 Dec 
43. Poore Papers. 



134 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



In the south of France, despite an ex- 
tremely mobile situation, the troops con- 
sumed a surprisingly large proportion 
of B rations. Even in the early phases, 
operational rations comprised less than 
30 percent of all issues. About 10 per- 
cent of all rations were 10-in-i's, a pro- 
portion based on availability rather than 
preference. This was by far the most 
popular of the hard rations. Earlier 
Mediterranean experience was reversed 
in that the K ration (with D ration sup- 
plement) was preferred to the C, pos- 
sibly because there was a considerable 
airborne component among Dragoon 
troops. No 5-in-i rations were issued. 
Consumption of hard rations dropped 
below 20 percent in October 1944, as 
the war of movement came to an end.^' 

Kitchen-Prepared Rations 

While packaged combat rations served 
as the main bill of fare during the first 
fortnight in Casablanca and Oran, unit 
kitchens of Western and Center Task 
Forces began to shift to garrison-type 
foods shortly before Thanksgiving Day, 
26 November 1942. Mountains of B 
ration components had been accumulat- 
ing in these two port cities since the 
arrival of the D plus 3 convoys, but task 
force quartermasters had had consider- 
able difficulty in organizing their Class I 
depots. Across North Africa, 100,000 
men were waiting for a balanced B 
ration. At Oran, McNamara's labor sit- 
uation hobbled depot operations. He 
was forced to divide his depot area into 



'■ (1) Weekly G-4 Rpts SUSA, Sep-Dec 44. Sev- 
enth Army, AG 319.1. (2) William G. Ashmore, 
"Nook and Cranny Reserve Feeds 7th .\rmy," 
(IMTSJ, VI, No. I (1 December 1944), 7. 



two compartments. Flour, dried food- 
stuffs, and any food which was not in 
sealed cans or containers ^vere put into 
a restricted area. Because of U.S. sani- 
tary codes, native food handlers worked 
only among the cased items. Mean- 
while, within the restricted enclosures. 
Quartermaster service troops failed to 
appreciate any humor in a job which 
foimd them sorting cans devoid of paper 
labels; such confusion further delayed 
the balancing of B rations. 

In planning Torch, task force quar- 
termasters had been careful not to ask 
for perishable or frozen foods that re- 
quired refrigerated storage at an early 
date. It was known prior to the land- 
ings that cold storage facilities existed, 
but no one knew their condition or 
capacity. Fortunately, McNamara had 
made an early reconnaissance of the 
Oran plant. At the outset he was al- 
most forced to commandeer the build- 
ing from its French owners. On D plus 
13 an unannounced refrigerator ship ar- 
rived with a cargo of frozen beef, pork, 
legs of lamb, and chilled bacon and 
hams. A second vessel moved into the 
harbor with more meat and tons of 
frozen turkeys, but the refrigerated 
warehouses could not handle this vol- 
ume of supplies. Determined not to 
reconsign the cargoes back to the United 
States, McNamara issued frozen turkey 
from shipside. 

By Christmas Day 1942, problems of 
local food procurement and storage were 
being resolved. Task Force quarter- 
masters were moving toward Tunisia 
leaving base section colleagues with the 
task of preparing 10-day menus and issue 
charts for the B ration, augmented by a 
host of perishables. By March 1943, 
through use of menus based on circulars 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



135 



from Middleswart's QM Section, SOS, 
all troops in North Africa were issued 
the B ration except those in the most 
forward areas. ^- 

The lo-day menu of B rations — the 
basic cycle Avhich permitted a variety of 
meals — consisted of approximately loo 
separate foodstuffs, plus a fe^v condi- 
ments. When all the components were 
available in the amounts and propor- 
tions required by the lo-day cycle, the 
B ration ^vas nutritionally balanced. 
But "balances" \vere easier to chart than 
to issue. Capt. William F. Pounder, 
surveying- the ration breakdo^vn system 
for General Gregory, offered one ex- 
planation for the difficulties when he 
\vrote that "this ration is not originally 
shipped on the convoys as a balanced 
ration." '^ 

Other difficulties could be traced to 
the hazards of storing rations in the 
open, to the lack of enough Quarter- 
master service troops, and to the in- 
efficiency of native labor. In one in- 
stance, when civilian workers were 
ordered to match food items by the big- 
gest letters on each case, it was dis- 
covered after three days that all cases 
labeled "Rations" were stacked together. 
Because there ^vere not enough men to 
rearrange the meats, vegetables, fruits 
and juices quickly and properly, a ran- 
dom assortment of B ration components 
went forward toward Tebessa. Unfor- 
tunately, the upset balance was not 
solely the result of negligence or haste. 



Rear area troops sometimes withheld 
choice foods in excess of their proper 
allowances. The frequency of this of- 
fence Avas directly proportional to the 
number of times the food stocks were 
handled. Rear area troops, on the other 
hand, were not the only ones at fault. 
Ration clerks were quick to point out 
the difference between actual strength 
and the daily average strength for ra- 
tions listed on a unit's certified morning 
report. The explanation that sudden 
attachments of extra troops had been 
the basis for requesting extra rations was 
not always valid. Tallies showed that 
combat commanders sometimes counte- 
nanced overissues. Yet at times other 
commanders unwillingly accepted over- 
issues of B rations because the food ^vas 
packed in containers too large for small 
groups of men. In many situations an 
accurate ration breakdown at the rail- 
heads was impossible. Repeatedly, Sul- 
livan drew Gregory's attention to the 
ration breakdown problem caused by 
overly large containers. I.ard came in 
37-pound cans whereas a small unit re- 
quired only a 4-pound can; raisins ar- 
rived in Number 10 cans although Sulli- 
van had asked for 15-ounce packages; 
tea reached the front in a 5-pound car- 
ton when the troops only needed a y^- 
pound package." 

Digging deeper into the causes which 
affected B ration losses in the theater, 
Middles^vart was able to arrive at some 
significant statistics. In December 1943, 



'^ (1) Poore Journal. (2) McNamara Memoir, pp. 
30-34. (3) Cir 1, OQM ABS, 20 Jan 43; Menu and 
Issue Charts, QM MRS, g Jan 43; Tech Bull 4, 
OQM SOS NATOUSA, ir, Mar 44 and Tech Bull 
7, OQM SOS NATOUSA, 29 May 44. All in Mid- 
dleswart Papers. 

" Pounder Rpt, p. 7. 



" (1) Pounder Rpt, pp. 12-13. (2) Ltr, Middle- 
swart to Doriot, 21 Aug 43. Poore Papers. (3) Ltr 
and Incls, CG AGF to TQMG, 10 Oct 43, sub: 
Overseas Rpt. OQMG MED 319.25. (4) Ltr, Sulli- 
van to Painter, 13 Jan 44, sub: Improvement of 
Rations; Ltr, Sullivan to Doriot, 25 Jul 44. Both 
in Sullivan Papers. 



136 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



he expressed the loss factors in the fol- 
lowing percentages: 

Cause Percentage 
Total 8.00 

Improper packaging 0.50 

Rehandling damages 1.50 

Pilferage 2.00 

Enemy action 0.50 

Operational movements 1 .00 

Extra issues 0.50 

Spoilage due to container imperfections . . 0.50 

Spoilage due to climate 1.00 

Accounting errors in effecting distribution 0.50 

After adding 1.5 percent for rations lost 
at sea to Middleswart's figure, NYPE 
did not consider NATOUSA's loss factor 
of 9.5 percent excessive. ^^ 

The hope was that a B ration, when- 
ever it could be fed at all in the combat 
zone, would provide about five pounds 
of food per man per day, including 
four vegetables, three different meat 
components, a dessert pudding, and 
canned fruit or fruit juice. Signifi- 
cantly, printed menus were ignored, and 
each division made up a daily menu 
based on supplies actually in stock. Dur- 
ing lulls in the Tunisia fighting, the B 
ration was sometimes brought into the 
front lines. Field ranges were installed 
in a 2V^2-ton truck, whose sides were 
boarded up to hide the light. Behind 
the line at a safe distance, cooks pre- 
pared the B ration menu and at night 



'^ Pilferage headed the list for the following rea- 
sons: open storage provided ready access to those 
bent on pilferage, opportunities abounded for pil- 
ferage when rail shipments were made in open cars 
for distances up to 1,500 miles requiring five to six 
days en route, black markets flourished in impov- 
erished, underfed communities, and "stealing" was 
not considered "a debasing profession by certain 
elements of the native population." Ltr, Col W. D. 
Cronkhite, OSD NYPE, to Gregory, 15 Jan 44; 1st 
Ind, Larkin to OSD NYPE, 24 Dec 43. Both in 
OQMG MED 430. 



the rolling kitchen rendezvoused with 
hungry front-line troops. The cooks 
then tidied up, broke out the breakfast 
foods, and prepared another meal. Be- 
fore daybreak, they had served two hot 
meals and had returned to the rear for 
more supplies. When this system was 
not practical, the 34th Division delivered 
components of the B ration to small 
combat groups and permitted them to 
heat their own meals over cans filled 
with sand and saturated with gasoline 
or kerosene.^'' 

The ration statistics of II Corps in 
the Tunisia Campaign show that, by 
weight, the B ration comprised about 60 
percent of the rations issued. A refine- 
ment of these figures indicates that the 
B ration was consumed by the 34th Divi- 
sion only in the lull between the end of 
the southern campaign and the begin- 
ning of the drive for Bizerte. When the 
34th was in movement to the northern 
sector and after it was committed to 
battle, it reverted to the C and 5-in-i 
rations, supplemented by freshly baked 
bread. Mindful of its Tjimisian exper- 
ience, the 1st Armored Division placed 
emphasis on keeping the B in balance 
and at an adequate supply level. For 
example, this unit found the allowances 
of sugar, coffee, and baking powder low. 
Some authorized items, especially condi- 
ments, were often unobtainable.^^ 

In the short Sicilian operation menu 
planners made no effort to provide a 
balanced B ration. Instead they pre- 



^^ (1) Pounder Rpt, p. 13. (2) Ltr, G-4 34th Inf 
Div to G-2 AGE, 25 Mar 43. OQMG MED'319.25. 

" (1) Compilation of 11 Corps Ration Statistics, 
Prink Rpt, exhibit A. (2) Memos cited n. 7. (3) 
Incl to Ltr, CG ist Armd Div to CG NATOUSA, 
26 Jun 43, sub: Adequacy of Pers and Transport 
for Supply of a Div in Combat. Hist Br OQMG. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



137 



Table i — Fifth Army Ration Issues: Selected Months 



Type of 
Ration 


October 
1943 


April 
1944 


October 
1944 


April 
■ 945 


Total Rations" 


5,768,685 
186,087 

2,473,621 

1,205,941 

18,772 

636,919 

1,433,432 



730,788 


7,431,771 
247,726 

5,262,462 

111,768 

42,533 

147,316 

1,867,692 

27 
3,494,554 


5,593,826 
180,446 

4,412,985 

110,731 

12,864 

516,566 

540,680 

31 
2,498,487 


7,028,492 
234,283 

5,245,435 
845,472 


Daily Average" 


B ration 


C ration 


D ration 


12,378 


K ration 


571,253 


5-in-l and 10 in-1 


353,954 


Supplementary 

Fresh meat (issues) 


30 


Bread (pounds) 


3,046,067 







" U.S. Troops only. 

Source: Fifth Army History, II, 72; III, 73-74; IV, 230-31; V, 220; VII, 228; VIII, 129-30; IX, 182. 



pared a combined B and 5-in-i ration 
and the engineer amphibian brigade 
distributed it. In Italy the bulk B ra- 
tion appeared again, and quickly rose 
to almost 80 percent of the total issue, a 
figure which persisted through most of 
the Fifth Army's career in Italy. {Table 
1) Nonetheless the complaint of poor 
balance was heard intermittently. When 
a corps quartermaster visited the Fifth 
Army's Class I dump at Maddaloni in 
November 1943, he observed that sup- 
plies were issued on a "first come, first 
served basis," with no attempt to assure 
an equitable share of scarce items. Be- 
cause substitutes for the missing B com- 
ponents could not always be provided, 
late arrivals departed with short rations. 
A typical complaint by Sullivan during 
the same month was that Fifth Army did 
not receive complete deliveries from 
Peninsular Base Section. "The shortages 
of items of the B ration," he wrote to the 
Army G-4, "are regular, but the condi- 
tion is becoming more serious. . . ." Hop- 
ing to obtain adequate stocks, he enumer- 
ated the items needed through the first 
week of December 1943, but deletions, 



shortages, and substitutions continued in 
deliveries from Naples. ^^ 

At theater level, quartermasters un- 
derstood the underlying causes of the 
difficulty more clearly, but were equally 
helpless to provide a cure. A major 
consideration was the extreme shortage 
of intratheater marine transport, which 
made it virtually impossible to balance 
ration shortages in one base section by 
bringing in surpluses from another loca- 
tion within the theater. Although the 
requisitioning function had been cen- 
tralized, the NATOUSA quartermaster 
submitted separate monthly requisitions 
to NYPE for each major port or base 
section, treating its supply position as a 
separate problem. Under this system, 
imbalances should have been rectified on 
arrival of shipments from the United 
States. But zone of interior depots, re- 
flecting world-wide shortages, made 



^^ Memo, Lt Col John R. Curry for Sullivan, 13 
Nov 43, sub: Q-5-21 Depot; Ltr, Truscott to Clark, 
27 Nov 43, sub: Deficiencies, Type B Ration; quo- 
tation in Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 21 Nov 43; 
Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 20 Dec 43. All in Sullivan 
Papers. 



!38 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



many substitutions, often shipping items 
which the theater already had in excess. 
Diversion of shipping to a port other 
than the original destination was a still 
more frequent cause of difficulty. Most 
ships carried a mixed cargo, including 
ammunition. Rare indeed was the con- 
voy that arrived without at least some 
of its ships diverted by the mgent needs 
of combat. ^^ 

Giving troops the type of ration they 
desired was as much a problem of stock 
levels as of balances. The atithorized 
level for NATO USA in the spring of 
1944 was 60 days, but actual theater 
stocks were higher. Because of the re- 
ceipt of stocks for future operations, 
levels rose from 69 days on 25 February 
to 85 days on 25 April 1944. Within the 
individtial base sections, levels varied 
widely:^*' 

Days of Supply 

25 February 25 March 25 April 

Atlantic Base 107 85 108 

Mediterranean Base 107 111 145 

Eastern Base 87 95 74 

Island Base 123 128 124 

Peninsular Base ... 59 68 59 

Adriatic Depot 38 45 59 

Tyrrhenian Depot . 70 109 119 

Northern Base 12 29 47 

Late in the summer of 1944, when 
Middleswart was resisting efforts to 
lower the authorized subsistence levels, 
he divided the 60-day level into a 30-day 
operating supply and a 30-day theater 
reserve. NYPE shipped the 30-day 
operational supply to NATOUSA by 



spreading it over three successive con- 
voys. Every ten days, on the average, a 
convoy left New York City. Thus re- 
quisitions were not complete and all 
components of the B ration were not 
available imtil after the last ship of the 
third convoy had been unloaded. Each 
base section then required 20 to 30 days 
to warehouse, inventory, and make final 
issue. When water-borne operations 
were in progress, the normal convoy 
schedule was disrupted and the delay 
was even greater. 

The reserve stock — as differentiated 
from the operating stock — constituted 
the safety factor against a tactical situa- 
tion which might cause a large number 
of troops to switch overnight from one 
type of ration to another. Because of 
transportation difficulties, pilferage, and 
the substitution problem, Middleswart 
insisted that the B ration could only be 
kept in balance in a dispersed and active 
base section if a 20-day supply was main- 
tained. Once mature, Peninsular Base 
Section maintained a 45-day level as a 
reserve and a 10-day level for operating 
use.^^ 

In the combat zone of Italy the prob- 
lem of levels took on different propor- 
tions. A 10-day level at a Fifth Army 
Class I dump and a 2-day reserve at an 
army railhead assured a satisfactory sup- 
ply of rations in areas where bridges 
might be destroyed or where the pack 
mule was the only method of transporta- 
tion. On the other hand a 10-day level 
was too large for the army quartermaster 
to move on short notice. When Fifth 



^* Critical comment upon a preliminary MS ver- 
sion of this history I)y Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Ram- 
sey, dated 18 November 1954. Hist Br OQMG. 

^» 1st Ind, CofS SOS NATOUSA to CG ASF, 13 
May 44, sub: Subs Pipeline and Losses. OQMG 
MED 430. 



21 (1) Memo, QM SOS NATOUSA for ACofS G-4 
SOS NATOUSA, 13 Sep 44. Hist Br OQMG. (2) 
Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation Corps: 
Operations Overseas, p. 192. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



139 



Army prepared for its drive on Rome 
and northern Italy, Sullivan preferred 
to deplete iiis reserves to a transportable 
2-day level of B rations and a single day 
of operational rations. As the tactical 
situation stabilized itself north of Flor- 
ence, and tiiere was a possibility that tlie 
many small advanced units and their 
transportation might be snowbound, Sid- 
livan permitted each division of IV 
Corps to maintain a minimum reserve 
of 2 days of B's and 3 days of C's, a larger 
stock than Fifth Army had reserved for 
its own Class I dump some months 
earlier.-- 

In the south of France the same over- 
all supply levels, imposed by NATO- 
USA, were in force, but a different 
method of suballocation reflected the 
special logistical organization for the 
Dragoon operation, which was unique 
within the Mediterranean theater. On 
6 October 1944 General Larkin directed 
that 5 days of supply be kept in the com- 
bat zone, 15 days in CONAD, and the 
balance in Delta Base Section. It was 
estimated that the supply level would 
reach 45 days by 1 December, and the 
authorized maximum of 60 days by 
1 January 1945. Theoretically, the 
CONAD level would consist of 8 days' 
reserve and 7 days' operating stock, but 
the practical effect was to place the re- 
serve level in the base section and the 
operating level in advance section. For 
the headlong pursuit up the Rhone val- 
ley, this was entirely satisfactory. Sub- 



sequent supply directives for this area 
were issued by the European theater.-^ 

Perishable Foods 

After the Torch landings, boneless 
beef, overseas hams, and poultry oc- 
casionally arrived in Oran and Casa- 
blanca, where they were consumed 
locally and appreciated as great delica- 
cies. Illustrating the popularity and 
rarity of these frozen foods, one observer 
recounted the need to station a guard at 
the door of the mess where they ^vere 
served to see tliat no unauthorized per- 
sons entered, and that no one went 
through the mess line a second time. 
Because of insufficient refrigeration ves- 
sels (reefers) and inadequate refrigera- 
tion facilities, static or mobile, in North 
Africa, fresh meats could not be sent into 
Tunisia. Before the advent of summer, 
1943, Middleswart had to drop any idea 
of placing orders for fresh meats on his 
subsistence requisitions. There were no 
refrigeration facilities in the North 
African base sections, to handle the neces- 
sary quantities of frozen meats during 
the hot weather.-* 

The troops in Italy were the first to 
receive perishable foods in large quan- 
tities. The distribution of fresh meat 
in Fifth Army from November 1943 
through the end of the war increased 
steadily until it became a regular, al- 
most daily, item of issue. (See Table 
1.) One of the first duties of the base 
section quartermaster on entering 



^ (i) Memo, Lt Col F. A. Troy, Class I Off, for 
Sullivan, 5 Apr 44, sub: 10-Day Army Reserve; 
Rpt, prepared by Troy, sub: Class I in Italian 
Theater. Both in Sullivan Papers. (2) Ltrs, AG 
Fifth Army to CG IV Corps, 12 Nov 44, 27 Feb 45. 
IV Corps, AG 430. 



"-■ (i) CONAD History, I, 88. (2) Memo, Mil Ping 
Div OCQM ETOUSA, 9 Nov 44, sub: Gen Info on 
QM Activities in Southern France. Littlejohn Col- 
lection, box 27. (3) For ETC supply levels, see 
below, ch. XV. 

^* Pounder Rpt, p. 7. 



140 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Naples was to select cold storage facili- 
ties in preparation for the arrival of 
reefers from NYPE. From Naples, a 
platoon of the 67th QM Refrigeration 
Company (Mobile) attached to Fifth 
Army delivered frozen meats and fresh 
foods three times a week to forward rail- 
heads. A notable morale builder was 
the issue of a special holiday menu on 
Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1943, 
and New Year's Day, 1944. Fifth Army 
as well as base section troops enjoyed 
turkey and ham, olives, celery, apples, 
walnuts, oranges, and hard candy.^^ 

During the stalemate along the Win- 
ter Line in February 1944, Fifth Army 
and Peninsular Base Section agreed on 
a procedure for delivery of perishables 
from Naples. Using two platoons, the 
67th Refrigeration Company inaugu- 
rated a shuttle-type service whereby one 
platoon loaded seven vans at Naples and 
delivered them to the Army Class I 
dump at Santa Maria. Here the loaded 
vans were hooked onto the trucks of an- 
other platoon which moved the vans to 
Army railheads. There the vans were 
emptied, and the refrigeration platoon 
returned to Santa Maria and transferred 
them to the first platoon for the trip back 
to Naples. During the summer of 1944, 
when the lines of communication were 
extended, the base section forwarded 
perishables by refrigerated rail cars, and 
the shuttle truck-van system operated 
only beyond the rail transfer point. The 
fall of Civitavecchia opened a port cap- 
able of handling a reefer ship and 
shortened the trip to army railheads. 



But by August 1944 the vans were travel- 
ing 225 miles per day to bridge the 
widening gap between the port and the 
advancing troops.-'' 

For the Dragoon operation, supply of 
perishables was entirely a problem of 
land transportation. On 24 September, 
5,000 long tons of cold storage space 
were available at Marseille, with a pros- 
pect of 6,000 tons more in a few weeks. 
But no refrigerated trailers had been 
brought ashore, the rail lines were not 
yet running, and meat deliveries to 
Seventh Army during the preceding week 
had consisted of one truckload, rushed 
through to the army headquarters itself. 
By early November the picture had 
changed completely. More than 150 
reefer rail cars were operating. A 2,000- 
ton cold storage plant at Dijon was avail- 
able and rapidly being filled. Mean- 
while 15 million rations of frozen meat 
and 18 million rations of butter were on 
hand at Marseille, not counting ship 
cargo waiting to unload. Nevertheless, 
in the forward areas the shortages per- 
sisted. CONAD still had only one 
mobile refrigeration company, and is- 
sues of perishables to combat units aver- 
aged four per week.^^ 



^■^ (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 96, 106, 221. (2) Memo, 
QM PBS for G-4 PBS, 30 Oct 43, sub: Purchases 
for Hospitals. Sullivan Papers. 



=" (1) Opn Memo 37, OQM Fifth Army, 11 Feb 
44, sub: SOP for Loading Perishables. Sullivan 
Papers. (2) Hist Rpt, 67th QM Refrigeration Co 
(Mobile), 18 Jun 44. Hist Br OQMG. (3) QMTSJ, 
VI (29 December 1944), 12-13. 

" (1) Memo, Brunson to QM SOS NATOUSA, 24 
Sep 44, sub: Rpt of Inspection Trip to SOS Ad- 
vance and CONBASE. Littlejohn Collection, box 8. 

(2) Memo, Mil Plans Div OCQM ETO for Div 
Chiefs, 9 Nov 44, sub: Gen Info on QM Activities in 
Southern France; Memo, Maj Daniel L. Lane for 
QM COMZONE [NATOUSA], 21 Oct 44, sub: Spe- 
cial Rpt of Activities. Littlejohn Collection, sec. II. 

(3) Weekly G-4 Rpts SUSA, Sep-Dec 44. Seventh 
Army, AG 319.1. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



141 



Local Procurement of Subsistence 

French North Africa had been an ex- 
porter of foodstuffs throughout the 
1930's, and quartermasters immediately 
began seeking commodities in Morocco 
and Algeria to supplement their stand- 
ard rations and thus reduce the quanti- 
ties of perishables shipped overseas from 
NYPE. Less than ninety days after 
Torch, the French authorities in Mor- 
occo furnished the Atlantic Base Section 
quartermaster with itemized lists of food- 
stuffs which could be procured locally 
without hardship to the civilian popula- 
tion. In the period between February 
and June 1943, 30 percent of the vege- 
tables consumed by American troops 
were purchased locally, as follows:-^ 

Green beans 131,208 lbs. 

Cabbage 494,410 lbs. 

Carrots 600,000 lbs. 

Cauliflower 500,000 lbs. 

Onions 270,000 lbs. 

Peas 460,000 lbs. 

Potatoes 600,000 lbs. 

Spinach 50,000 lbs. 

Sweet potatoes 77,000 lbs. 

Turnips 225,000 lbs. 

Grapefruit 712,000 each 

Oranges 4,892,000 each 

As the theater's strength increased and 
operations pointed northward across the 
Mediterranean, American military and 
French civilian authorities opened nego- 
tiations to expand the procurement pro- 
gram. By contracting for future harvests, 
the U.S. Army encouraged a greater pro- 
duction of foodstuffs — well in excess of 
civilian needs. The surpluses were ear- 
marked for military consumption. In 



the summer of 1943 American officials 
took steps to import seed, farm machin- 
ery, and equipment from the United 
States. In contrast to the 3,000 tons ob- 
tained in Atlantic Base Section in the 
first half of 1943, the goal through June 
1944 envisioned the receipt of 50,000 to 
70,000 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, 
5,000 tons of canned vegetables, and 20,- 
000 to 30,000 tons of vegetables for de- 
hydration. In Algeria, potatoes were 
abundant, and during April 1944 Medi- 
terranean Base Section acquired 11,000,- 
000 pounds. The 1943 wheat crop was 
poor, but by the summer of 1944 North 
Africa could contribute 49,000 long tons 
for civilian relief in southern France.-^ 

Until the end of the Tunisian cam- 
paign, AFHQ prohibited the buying of 
fresh meats, poultry, and fish. In 
Morocco, stocks of commercial meat had 
become dangerously low. Since 1939 
the growing town population had borne 
the brunt of the meat shortages. Cattle- 
men were reluctant to exchange their 
herds for currency which had no pur- 
chasing power because of the scarcity of 
manufactured goods. The civilian meat 
ration fell to a scanty seven ounces per 
week during the winter of 1942-43. 
Rabat, Casablanca, and Meknes ex- 
perienced meatless periods of three 
weeks. In May 1943 lifting of the mili- 
tary restriction on local meat procure- 
ment stimulated livestock production. 
Notwithstanding the apparently im- 
proved situation, the quantities obtained 



=»Ltr, Col J. P. Ratay, CG ABS, to Gen Hughes, 
Deputy Theater Comdr, NATOUSA, ,24 Jun 43. 
Hist Br OQMG. 



2» (1) Hist MBS, Sep 42-May 44, p. 17. (2) Ltr 
cited n. 28. (3) Ltr, Ratay to Pickels, 28 Jun 43, 
sub: Prod and'Proc Local Food; Ltrs, Ratay to 
Larkin, 7 Jan, 9 Feb, 9 Mar, 6 Apr 44, sub: Local 
Proc of Fresh Fruits, Produce . . .; Ltr, QM MBS 
to AG MBS, 8 Jun 44. All in Hist Br OQMG. (4) 
Komer, Civil Affairs, ch. XXI, p. 33. OCMH. 



142 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



for military consumption were small. 
Considering foods other than fruits and 
vegetables, the best procurement records 
were made by Mediterranean Base Sec- 
tion where fish and wine were obtained 
for Italian prisoners of war, and in At- 
lantic Base Section, where enough fresh 
eggs were available for all three base sec- 
tions in North Africa.^" 

The island of Sicily fell in August 
1943 and citrus fruits and semitropical 
vegetables became available almost im- 
mediately. In March 1944, a typical 
month, two-thirds of the Quartermaster 
orders went to twelve Sicilian vendors 
who marketed $10,000 worth of tan- 
gerines, salt, eggs, wine, lettuce, onions, 
cabbages, radishes, and spaghetti and 
macaroni. Sicily's unusual capacity as 
a source of citrus fruits was demon- 
strated ^vhen an overly zealous subsis- 
tence officer in Fifth Army's quarter- 
master office requested 6,000,000 pounds 
of lemons in a single month. The Quar- 
termaster purchasing and contracting 
officer of Peninsular Base Section, eager 
to satisfy Fifth Army, approved the 
lemon order and made the desired pur- 
chase in Sicily. Soon unprecedented 
quantities of lemons began to arrive in 
Italy. By the time half of the contract 
had been delivered — and this quantity 
provided almost one bushel for every 
soldier in Italy — it was decided that 
more than enough lemons were on hand 
to meet all likely needs. ^^ 



'^ (1) Ltr, QM MBS to AG MBS, 8 Jun 44; Rpts, 
OQM MBS to AG MBS, 8 Apr, 8 Jun, 8 Aug 44, 
sub: Orgn Hist. All in Hist Br OQMG. (2) Hist 
Rpt, EBS, Aug 43; EBS Monthly Purch Rpts, Sep- 
Oct 43. Both in EBS SOS NATOUSA, AG 314.7. 

'^ (1) Ltr, AG IBS to CG SOS NATOUSA, n Dec 
43, sub: Monthly Rpt of Nov 43 Purch; Ltr, QM 
P&C Off IBS to CG IBS. 4 Feb 44, sub: Proc Re- 



Base section purchasing and contract- 
ing officers were alert to exploit local 
food markets wherever an area seemed 
capable of producing a surplus beyond 
civilian needs. In October 1943, the 
first month in Italy, Peninsular Base 
Section bought 209,000 pounds of vege- 
tables. During the first summer, that of 
1944, monthly receipts of produce soared 
to 8 million pounds, and after the libera- 
tion of the Po valley, procurement of 
perishables rose to 14.6 million pounds. 
Onions, olives, potatoes, peppers, car- 
rots, celery, and various citrus fruits, 
came into Class I distribution points. 

Quartermaster purchase and contract 
officers co-operated with American Mili- 
tary Government officials to forestall the 
procurement of perishables that were 
scarce in commercial markets, but there 
were occasional lapses in the enforce- 
ment of this program. Toward the end 
of 1944 complaints about encroachments 
on civilian needs were numerous. Fifth 
Army circulated a letter reminding pur- 
chasing and contracting officers that they 
could only place orders against alloca- 
tions approved by the Local Resources 
Board, the Allied agency that set policy 
and regulated food allocations. An- 
other violation of approved practices 
was reflected in the charge that "troops 
are using government rations as trading 
material in the procurement of local 
products." ^- 

Subsistence procurement included not 
only perishables but also a variety of 



sources, Jan 44; Rpt QM P&C Off IBS (Purch Or- 
ders), Mar 44. All in QM Jnl IBS, AG 314.7. (2) 
Hist QM PBS, p. 219. 

'^ (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 221-22. (2) Cir 218, Hq 
NATOUSA, 9 Nov 43. (3) Quotation in Ltr, AG 
Fifth Army to All U.S. Troops, 1 Jan 45, sub: Il- 
legal Local Proc of Food. Sullivan Papers. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



143 



special foods and services. Within ur- 
ban areas, facilities were requisitioned 
for processing foods that could enhance 
the daily ration. In Naples, Rome, 
Florence, and Leghorn, more than 2,500,- 
000 pounds of coffee were roasted, 
gioimd, and sacked. In smaller cities, 
such as Marcianise, Francolise, and 
Montecatini, as well as in the larger in- 
ban areas, macaroni and spaghetti plants 
produced almost 3,000,000 pounds of 
food for Italians aiding the Allied forces 
in civilian and military capacities. Yeast- 
producing plants at Naples, Arqua, and 
Rome permitted decreases in shipments 
from New York and sustained the pro- 
duction of Quartermaster bakeries. 
During the Italian campaign. Peninsular 
Base Section calculated that 43,379 long 
tons of fruits and vegetables had been 
procured locally. Considering the scar- 
city of reefers and the higher priority 
enjoyed by ETOUSA from the summer 
of 1944, it can reasonably be concluded 
that local procurement made the differ- 
ence between Fifth Army's relying on 
cased and individual rations alone and 
its enjoyment of fresh foods that would 
have otherwise been unavailable.^^ 

The initial landings in southern 
France were made in the Marseille- 
Toulon area, ^vhich normally received 
fresh produce from the Rhone valley. 
Combat operations and German demoli- 
tions had disrupted civilian transporta- 
tion from the hinterland and there was 
a serious food shortage; no supplies were 
available for local purchase. Seventh 
Army ^vas forced to feed laborers at least 



one meal a day, and the first quayside 
unloading of cargo in southern France 
was of civil affairs supplies. But rich 
agricultural areas were quickly liberated 
and during October, the first month of 
CONAD operations at Dijon, 320 tons 
of fruits and vegetables were made avail- 
able to Seventh Army by the Revitaille- 
ment General, the central French food 
rationing agency. As transportation im- 
proved, the local surplus was shipped to 
other parts of France, and the quantities 
available for U.S. procurement decreased. 
For the Christmas and New Year menus, 
CONAD was able to obtain 355 tons of 
apples, potatoes, onions, lettuce, and 
leeks. ^* 

Field Bakeries 

Less involved but no less important 
than the delivery of perishables was the 
baking and issue of fresh two-pound 
loaves of bread. Bread is practically the 
only item actually produced in the com- 
bat zone, amid the general destructive- 
ness of war. Whether consumed as part 
of the modified B ration or as a sub- 
stitute for the unpopular dry crackers 
of the combat ration, bread was ahvays 
in demand. In fact, quite apart from 
nutritional aspects, bread was a major 
factor in good morale, and tended to 
make any ration acceptable. Therefore 
everyone in the theater was interested 
in whether production was high or low, 
prompt or delayed, available or absent, 
and these results depended more on the 
adequacy of the bakery equipment than 
on any other single factor. 

With the introduction of a mechan- 



33 (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 106, 116-17, 121. (2) In- 
terv, Cheslaw with Capt Edgar Seward, Terminal 
Sv Div OCT, 3 Jun 53. OCMH. 



^ CONAD History, I, 42, 100: II, 618. 



144 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



ical dough mixer and redesigned ovens 
for easier movement, American bakery 
equipment on the eve of Pearl Harbor 
had been somewhat improved over the 
old field baking ovens used by the Army 
since World War I. Yet the new equip- 
ment was not trailer-mounted and the 
dough mixer was the only mechanical 
equipment. Forty-five 21/2-ton trucks 
had to be begged or borrowed whenever 
the American bakery company moved 
its thirty-two ovens and sixteen dough 
mixers (Mi 942) . Organizationally, the 
sole advantage of the American com- 
pany was flexibility. Its four platoons 
could be widely separated. Each pla- 
toon could produce from 6,000 to 8,000 
pounds of bread daily. On the land 
masses of North Africa and Europe, 
mobility was more valuable than divis- 
ibility and quartermasters who baked 
the bread for combat units had to follow 
the forces closely. 

In planning for Bolero and Round- 
up, American quartermasters in Great 
Britain had been favorably impressed 
with British-designed mobile field bak- 
eries and with the organization set up 
to operate them. The trailer-mounted 
equipment consisted of three ovens, two 
diesel-electric generators, one mixer, and 
one dough divider. The bakery unit 
was virtually self-sufficient with its ten 
organic trucks and nine trailers. In 
July 1942, General Littlejohn had placed 
an order for British equipment, and had 
arranged for a Quartermaster company 
to be schooled in British bakery prac- 
tices. Company B, 95th Quartermaster 
Bakery Battalion, was the unit selected 
for this training. It was reorganized as 
a two-platoon company with twenty or- 
ganic trucks, capable of moving all its 



equipment. ^^ In November 1942, Little- 
john released B Company to Torch and 
its first bakers arrived in Oran early in 
December. Within a week of its arrival, 
the unit was producing 21,000 pounds 
of bread per day, and this amount was 
doubled when the second platoon began 
to operate. Six weeks later, Company B 
divided, with one platoon remaining in 
Oran while the other joined II Corps in 
Tebessa. 

Meanwhile, several other companies 
had opened bakeries at Rabat, Casa- 
blanca, Oujda, and Constantine, using 
either commercial bakeries when sani- 
tary sites were obtainable or American 
M1942 equipment. One such unit was 
Company B, 99th Quartermaster Bakery 
Battalion, which arrived in Constantine 
in March 1943. In Eastern Base Sec- 
tion, the 99th Battalion's B Company 
had no trouble as to mobility, but a 
host of mechanical failures led Colonel 
Painter to recommend to Middleswart 
that no more units with American 
equipment be sent to North Africa until 
the deficiencies were corrected. Many 
ovens were idle for lack of burners, and 
all fire units required repairs. Because 
only leaded gasoline ^vas available, the 
units had to be taken apart for cleaning 
every few hours, and gaskets, filters, and 
fuel tubes quickly wore out under these 
conditions. The supply of spare parts 
was completely inadequate. While the 
quality of bread was not materially af- 
fected the company had to acquire two 



^ (1) Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organiza- 
tion, Supply, and Services, I, 15 iff. (2) Pounder 
Rpt, pp. 78-79. (3) Interv, Romanus with Col 
MacManus, 14 Dec 54. OCMH. (4) For details re- 
garding still further reorganization of mobile bakery 
companies, see below, Chapter XV. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



145 



civilian bakeries to achieve the required 
production. ^*^ 

After observing companies of both the 
95th and the 99th Bakery Battalions in 
action and after reading the journals of 
the units, Captain Pounder reported to 
General Gregory: 

The American report deals solely with 
the trouble experienced with the Field 
Range. That is its main concern, and pro- 
duction is hardly mentioned. The report 
of the American company using British 
bakery equipment is exactly opposite. The 
main point in every part of the report is the 
actual production and the efforts made to 
produce greater quantities. . . .^^ 

There was no disputing the prefer- 
ence of American quartermasters for 
British bakery equipment by the time 
Fifth Army moved onto the beaches of 
Salerno Bay. Maj. Eckhardt R. Keller, 
the experienced commander of the 94th 
Quartermaster Bakery Battalion, pred- 
icated his recommendations for the fu- 
ture deployment of bakeries in Italy on 
the need for "bake-to-bake" mobility. 
In addition to the need for mobile 
bakery units, there was also a demand 
for bakeries to operate in semiperma- 
nent installations or to serve compara- 
tively small and isolated units. In this 
situation, American equipment with its 
easy adaptability was used effectively, es- 
pecially after an improved and safer 
type of burner was provided. Repre- 
sentative units included the 103d Quar- 
termaster Bakery Company, which baked 
simultaneously at Aversa, Rome, and 
Bagnoli; the 108th Company, whose 
units ranged from Marrakech, Morocco, 



to Perregaux, Algeria; the 124th Com- 
pany, which successively operated in 
North Africa, Corsica, and Italy; and 
the 167th Company, which went to 
southern France and deployed detach- 
ments and platoons to bakery sites in 
Marseille, Lyon, and Dijon. These 
small units were attached for adminis- 
tration to the nearest larger QM unit 
and their scattered deployment did not 
appear to have an ill effect on adminis- 
trative or operational efficiency. 

In each installation, quartermasters 
baked bread daily (0600 to 0235, with 
three hours to clean equipment and ad- 
just machinery) . Sullivan set a 3- to 5- 
day level of reserves for such ingredients 
as flour, salt, sugar, milk, and lard, and 
a 30-day level for yeast. In the expan- 
sion of their operations, bakeries were 
established in candy, cracker, and soap 
factories and in churchyards, tents, and 
garages. Bakers learned to cope with 
novel situations but found that their 
routine was often interrupted by the 
untimely appearance of shell fragments 
in the dough, fermentation in the 
water, and worms and weevils in cap- 
tured flour. Nevertheless, bread pro- 
duction increased monthly. Though 
32,000 pounds of bread per day was 
considered a satisfactory rate of produc- 
tion, the 103d Quartermaster Bakery 
Company at Aversa, north of Naples, 
turned out 63,500 pounds daily for the 
month of July i944-^^ 

Bakery operations in southern France 
followed the Mediterranean pattern. 
The io8th QM Bakery Company came 



^ (1) McNamara Memoir, p. 54. (2) Ltr, Painter 
to Middleswart, 21 Apr 43, sub: M1942 Field Bake 
Oven. Pounder Rpt, p. 77. (3) Ltr, CO Co B, 99th 
QM Bakery Bn, to CQM EBS, 1 May 43, sub: 
Bakery Rpt. Pounder Rpt, p. 75. 

'^ Quoted in Pounder Rpt, p. 79. 



=« (1) Ltr, CO 94th QM Bakery Bn to Sullivan, 
24 Oct 43, sub: IJse and Control of Bakery Units, 
Fifth Army. Sullivan Papers. (2) Hist QM PBS, 
pp. 56-61. (3) Opnl Memo 28, OQM Fifth Army, 
26 Jan 44, sub: SOP Bakery Cos. OQMG MED 
319-25- 



146 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



ashore at St. Tropez on 30 August, but 
was separated from its equipment and 
did odds jobs around the beach dumps 
for two weeks. Two platoons reached 
Vesoul by rail on 24 September, and the 
first issue of bread for combat troops 
was made t^vo days later. Temporarily 
the 32,000 pounds daily production of 
this unit was the only bread available 
for Seventh Army, but on 2 October the 
178th Bakery Company began baking at 
fipinal and assumed support for VI 
Corps. After 6 October the XV Corps 
was also based on Epinal, and the 108th 
shipped 12,000 pounds a day to assist the 
178th Company. Between 19 and 23 
October the 108th moved by platoon in- 
crements to fipinal, where it demon- 
strated that, under ideal conditions, it 
could bake 41,000 pounds per day. 
Meanwhile the 7553d (Italian) QM 
Bakery Company moved up from Dijon 
to Vesoul. Contrary to ETOUSA doc- 
trine and practice, when mobile bakery 
companies from northern France be- 
came available in November, they were 
located in the rear areas. The 4362d, 
a unit with British mobile equipment 
and Negro personnel, was stationed at 
Dijon. The 4358th demonstrated its 
mobility by moving with organic equip- 
ment from L, 'Hermitage to Marseille, 
a distance of 800 miles, in six days. The 
versatility of the 167th Bakery Company 
has already been mentioned. Arriving 
from Italy on 2 September, it promptly 
took over operation of two civilian 
bakeries at Marseille, and was the only 
bakery unit in CON BASE for several 
weeks. When CONAD was formed it 
borrowed two platoons of the 167th, de- 
ploying them in section strength at 
Dijon, Vittel (6th Army Group head- 
quarters) , Langres, and Besan^on. This 



unit contained skilled personnel who 
operated as supervisors of civilian bak- 
ing operations and only baked, them- 
selves, in emergencies. Delta Base em- 
ployed men of this unit in much the 
same way. For example, at Lyon a de- 
tachment of one officer and fifteen en- 
listed men of the 167th operated the 
Class I railhead and also supervised a 
large civilian bakery.^^ 

Free Smokes, Soaps, and Sweets 

The tobacco, candy, chewing gum, 
and toilet articles distributed free of 
charge to combat troops provided the 
basis of one of the Quartermaster Corps' 
most important morale-building services. 
According to War Department Circular 
245, dated 25 July 1942, theater com- 
manders had authority to issue conven- 
ience items as part of their field ration 
whenever sales facilities, such as com- 
missaries, post exchanges, or commercial 
shops, were not available. In Torch 
plans, the Ration Accessory Convenience 
(RAC) pack was designed to bring post 
exchange items to the front lines. Every 
day a RAC pack Avas to accompany the 
ration issue for 200 men. Quartermaster 
planners had decided that in 24 hours 
200 men would need one new plastic 
razor, 30 razor blades, 16 tubes of shaving 
cream, 3 tooth brushes, 7 cans of tooth 
powder, 28 1 -ounce bars of soap, 200 
packages of cigarettes, 2 1 -ounce blocks 
of chewing tobacco, 16 ounces of pipe 
tobacco, 400 books of matches, 400 
ounces of hard candy, and 400 sticks of 
gum. On 22 March 1943 the OQMG 



3» (1) GONAD History, II, 837-58. (2) Unit His- 
tories 108th, 167th, 178th QM Bakery Cos. Hist Br 
OQMG. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



147 



announced that the Ration Accessory 
pack would be broken down into three 
separate kits. Procurement and distri- 
bution factors prompted this decision. 
The toilet kit accompanied a ration 
issue to 800 men, the smoking sundries 
constituted a packet for 200 men, and 
the candy case served for 400 men. 

Largely because they were produced 
in mass lots, the composition of the 
Ration Accessory kits underwent little 
change after the summer of 1943. Yet 
the Corps continued to receive com- 
plaints from soldiers dissatisfied with 
the quality of many of the items. Men 
preferred shaving soap to brushless cream 
and tooth paste to powder. The three- 
piece plastic razor clogged constantly 
Avhen dra^vn across the shaving cream. 
Under streams of hot ^vater, the plastic 
razor lost any resemblance to a precision 
instrument, and repeated assembly and 
disassembly hastened its deterioration. 
Soldiers preferred the two-piece metal 
instrument.*" 

Of the three convenience kits, the 
soldier was more willing to forego the 
candy and toilet articles than the tobacco 
allowances. Indeed, it was not infre- 
quently asserted that a man ^vould more 
readily relinquish a meal than a cigar- 
ette, and a field commander was pre- 
pared to invoke his rank and influence 
to rectify tobacco shortages among his 
troops. Avalanche planning was quite 
explicit as to the amounts of tobacco for 
each phase of the operation. In the first 
week at Anzio each man was to receive 
a package of cigarettes, two and a half 
sheets of cigarette paper and a half- 



ounce of tobacco for rolling his own 
smokes, plus the usual amounts of pipe 
and chewing tobacco and two books of 
safety matches. The D plus 2 convoy 
was to bring an 8-day supply of free 
tobacco kits for all troops ashore by that 
time, and the D plus 7 convoy a 14-day 
supply of a combined tobacco and candy 
kit. 

The D to D plus 19 tobacco plans of 
Avalanche did not materialize and the 
only tobacco reaching the troops was 
the allowance which came in the combat 
rations, giving each man about twelve 
cigarettes a day. Off Naples there was 
an ample supply of tobacco on the ships, 
but limited harbor facilities prevented 
rapid discharge. Corps and division 
commanders showed no willingness to 
wait patiently for their allowances to be 
delivered. Special air and coastal ship- 
ments were dispatched to Sicily, and 
twice General Clark sent his personal 
plane to Palermo for tobacco supplies 
which were brought to a for^vard air- 
strip and speedily distributed to the 
troops. During this emergency none of 
these high priority stocks were issued to 
rear area troops, or even to hospital 
patients, except when the amounts ex- 
ceeded the needs of the infantrymen.*^ 

Aside from the problem of availabil- 
ity, it was difficult to reach an agree- 
ment on the tactical area within which 
tobacco was to be issued gratuitously. 
Through the summer of 1944 the policy 
fluctuated. Some officers contended that 
everyone in Fifth Army ought to obtain 



*" (1) Cir 45, Hq MBS, 23 Mar 43. (2) Annex 2 
(QM), Admin Instr 2, Hq Fifth Army, 7 Aug 43. 
Hist Br OQMG. (3) Ltr, Sullivan to Painter, 13 
Jan 44, sub: Ration Improvements. Sullivan Papers. 



" (1) Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 17 Oct 43. Sulli- 
van Papers. (2) Rad 1069, Clark to Larkin, 10 Oct 
43; Rad 2731, Tate to Truscott, 11 Oct 43: Memo, 
Clark for Truscott, 21 Oct 43, sub: Issue of Tobac- 
co Components. Both in Fifth Army, AG 430. (3) 
Fifth Army History, II, 70. 



148 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



his tobacco without payment, while 
others recommended that this privilege 
should be limited to troops forward of 
divisional rear boundaries. Because the 
Army Exchange Service could not follow 
Fifth Army closely enough to make its 
sales stores accessible in the army area, 
and because there was a constant move- 
ment of troops that could upset any 
unit or geographical basis of free dis- 
tribution, it was felt that a parallel sys- 
tem of sales and free issues would result 
in some units receiving excess allow- 
ances and others having none. Since 
only a single system would be manage- 
able and no one was prepared to ad- 
vocate a uniform sales system through- 
out the combat zone, the Fifth Army 
quartermaster put equity ahead of econ- 
omy. Sullivan preferred the free issue 
of candy, gum, tobacco, and toilet articles 
throughout the army area, and justified 
it on the grounds that troop morale was 
more important than saving money. 
With minor exceptions all Fifth Army 
troops, even when resting in rear areas, 
received gratuitous issues from August 
1944 to the end of hostilities.*" 

Seventh Army plans for free issues in 
southern France were a direct outgrowth 
of Fifth Army experience and were car- 
ried out very successfully in the early 
stages of the Dragoon operation. The 
first G-4 report of Continental Base 
Section, dated 24 September 1944, listed 
a comfortable total of sixty-three tons 
of "Tobacco, etc." on hand. During 
the period of rapid pursuit, deliveries to 
combat troops in the forward areas were 



very uncertain. CONAD status reports 
never showed more than a one and a 
half day reserve during 1944, and usually 
indicated that whatever was received 
had been issued to combat units the 
same day. As in Fifth Army, supplies 
were normally received in the form of 
RAC kits." 

Rations for Friends ayid Enemies 

A casual observer of Fifth Army might 
assume that its logistical activities were 
directed exclusively to the support of 
American troops, but scrutiny reveals 
that this was an international army, the 
first of its kind in the war against Ger- 
many. In varying strengths throughout 
its twenty-month campaign in Italy, the 
Fifth Army was made up not only of 
American but also of British Common- 
wealth, Brazilian, French, French pro- 
tectorate, Italian, Polish, and Yugoslav 
troops, all of whom at one time or an- 
other obtained American supplies and 
equipment. To paraphrase Rommel's 
famous epigram, the Fifth Army was a 
French chef's dream and a quartermas- 
ter's nightmare. Indeed, the largest of 
these forces, the Frenchmen and Moslem 
troops, was heavily if not exclusively de- 
pendent on American services of supply 
during a substantial part of its career.** 
Illustrating the scope of the program, 
non-American forces consumed 25 per- 
cent of the 350 million rations issued by 
Peninsular Base Section between Octo- 
ber 1943 and June 1945. And these 
figures might have been considerably 
higher had it not been for the policy 



*^ (1) Rad, Clark to Devers, 15 Jul 44; 1st Ind, 
DQM Fifth Army to Tate, 28 Aug 44, sub: Gratui- 
tous PX; 5th Ind, Troy to Sullivan, 9 Feb 45, same 
sub. All in Sullivan Papers. (2) Sullivan Diary, 15 
Feb 45. 



^ (1) CBS G-4 Periodic Rpt, 28 Sep 44. (2) 
CONAD History, II, 517-631. 
"Cir 7, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 16 Jan 44. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



149 



Table 2 — Ration Issues to Non-U. S. Personnel in Italy 
I October 1943-31 May 1945 





20-Month 
Total 


October 
1943 


April 
1944 


October 
1944 


May 
1945 


British 

French 


1,138,505 

13,730,762 

12,379,110 

3,237,675 

10,927,777 

"25,000,000 

313,614 

2,257,650 

5,367,331 


7,285 



5,797 
15,097 





24,750 

1,055,700 

993,240 

90,750 

18,300 

855,030 








43,369 
265,174 
577,220 
121,768 
507,315 

C) 





351,354 


16,337 
98,797 


Moslems 


41,664 


Italian civilians 


379,347 


POW'S 


7,010,464 


Italian military 


2,433,717 


Partisans 


186,000 


Italian service units 

Brazilians 


547,956 
796,948 







" Estimated. 

>> Not Available. 

Source: Hist QM PBS, p. iii. 



which moved German prisoners of war 
by the tens of thousands out of this 
theater. (Table 2) 

Of the Allied auxiliaries, the Italians 
drew the most Quartermaster supplies 
over the longest period of time in the 
course of the peninsular campaigns. Fol- 
lowing its surrender — word of which 
greeted the Allied assault convoys as 
they steamed toward the beaches of 
Salerno — the Italian Government agreed 
to turn against Germany and make its 
manpower available to the United Na- 
tions. Officers and enlisted men, theo- 
retically still prisoners of war, were 
formed into provisional service units and 
sandwiched into the Allied supply sys- 
tem. 

Unlike the French and Brazilian 
forces, few Italians engaged directly in 
combat. One motorized group fought 
in the battle of Mignano Gap, and an- 
other was committed in the closing 
months of the war. The Allies discour- 
aged their use because the Germans re- 
garded captured Italians as deserters 
rather than as prisoners of war and sub- 



jected them to more severe treatment. 
Consequently, most Italians worked in 
labor and service units. The number 
of Italian troops working for Sullivan 
rose to 6,500 — about 50 percent of the 
number hoped for — and made up 24 
service companies, 6 battalions, and 2 
quartermaster groups.*^ 

In the spring of 1944, AFHQ directed 
that supplies would only be furnished 
those Italians who were considered "ef- 
fective," a definition limited to "bona 
fide members of the Italian armed forces 
. . . subject to the laws of war and the 
Geneva Convention, . . . and actually 
performing the duties to which as- 
signed." *^ Because their functions were 
considered essentially civilian in char- 



« (1) Hist QM PBS, p. 111. (2) Hq ASF, Statis- 
tical Review of World War II, p. 158. (3) Q^M Sup- 
ply in Fifth Army, pp. 16, 56, 148-49, 162-63. (4) 
Konier, Civil Affairs, ch. X. OCMH. (5) Fifth 
Army History, IV, 230; V, 220; VI, 114; VII, 228; 
VIII, 129; IX, 182. 

*" (1) Ltr, AFHQ to All Concerned, 22 Sep 44, 
sub: Supply of Italian Armed Forces. NASC QM 
(Italy), AG 400.3295. (2) Fifth Army History, III, 
73; IV, 230; V, 220; VI, 114. 



150 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



acter, such gioups as security police, 
carabinieri, fire brigades, and guards 
were not included. But the responsi- 
bility was defined even more on the basis 
of parent organization. Those under 
British command ("BR-ITI's") were 
supplied by the British; "US-ITI's" by 
the Americans. The "ITI-ITI's," serv- 
ing under the Italian War Ministry, 
drew their rations from the Americans, 
their medical supplies and fuel from the 
British, and their clothing from both. 
Many U.S. supplies were delivered to 
these troops through lend-lease. 

While the French were operating with 
the Allies in Tunisia they were fighting 
in and living off their own protectorates; 
but when in November 1943 the 2d 
Moroccan and 3d Algerian Divisions 
crossed the Mediterranean and deployed 
on Fifth Army's right flank above the 
Volturno they were less self-sufficient. 
From a starting figure of a quarter of a 
million rations to the French in Decem- 
ber 1943 and a third of a million to 
Moslem troops in January 1944, the 
number issued to the French Expedi- 
tionary Corps rose steadily to a peak of 
three and a half million rations in Jime 
1944- 

In January and February 1944, when 
the weather was cold and tactical opera- 
tions around Cassino made strino^ent 
physical demands on the troops, the 
French found that their North African 
diet was inadequate in Italy. They in- 
sisted that more fats and suo;ar were 
needed and asked the Americans to re- 
lieve the monotony of the canned meat 
that they had eaten exclusively since 
their arrival in Italy. The supply of 
livestock in North Africa was meager, 
according to General Alphonse Juin, 
commander of the French Expedition- 



ary Corps, and he hoped that his forces 
could share at least twice weekly in the 
quantities of freshly killed and frozen 
meat being distributed to the American 
troops. In effect, Juin called for a B 
ration with certain variations to suit the 
French taste. 

Fifth Army agreed that the French 
ration was not adequate for operational 
needs, but pointed out that approval for 
an increase could only come from higher 
authorities, the same authorities who 
hoped to dissuade the French in Italy 
from "buying local resources without 
proper allocation." AFHQ did not sub- 
scribe to the request that the limited 
quantities of American meat should be 
shared with the French. Yet positive 
measures were taken to meet the basic 
requirements and to change the method 
of ration procurement and issue. Be- 
cause it was now evident that the French 
were unable to obtain sufficient food- 
stuffs from North Africa, NATOUSA 
determined that after 1 June 1944, all of 
the French and Moslem rations would 
be provided from NYPE. Only French- 
procured brandy, wine, and vegetable 
oils would flow from North Africa. To 
the extent that livestock was available 
at all, a vessel was to shuttle from five 
to six thousand head of live sheep from 
Tunis to Naples, exclusively for the 
French Expeditionary Corps. Juin's 
troops assumed full responsibility for 
their slaughter and issue.*^ 



*' (1) Quotation in undated indorsement to 
Memo, Juin for Clark, 25 Apr 44, sub: Supplies of 
Fresh Meat. Fifth Army Subsistence, AG 430. (2) 
Sullivan Diary, g Jan 44. (3) Memo, Juin for 
Clark, 5 Jan 44; Ltr, Clark to CinC AFHQ, 26 Feb 
44, sub: Increased Ration Allowance for FEC; Rad 
1^21939, Larkin to Pence, 24 May 44. All in Fifth 
Army, AG 430. (4) Sullivan MS, p. 102. (5) Vig- 
neras. Rearming the French, pp. 256-58. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



151 



Because dietary preferences were re- 
spected in feeding Allied auxiliaries, the 
rationing of Algerian and Moroccan 
troops, 50 percent of whom were of the 
Mohammedan faith, presented difficul- 
ties. While the French soldier expected 
his ration to include wine and brandy — 
as the U.S. soldier expected his bread 
and meat — the Moslem religion forbade 
alcoholic beverages and pork. Accord- 
ingly, it was necessary to prepare two 
different menus within the French Ex- 
peditionary Corps. It was not enough 
to recognize the Mohammedan proscrip- 
tion against pork and alcoholic bever- 
ages; even authorized meat could not be 
eaten unless the animals had been 
slaughtered by Mohammedans in con- 
formance to Mohammedan ritual. 
Veiled Moslem women were recruited to 
herd the sheep aboard ship in Tunisia, 
accompany them to Italy, and drive the 
animals into the lines. With full regard 
for Moslem precepts, the women slaugh- 
tered and dressed the sheep, and re- 
turned to North Africa for another ship- 
load.^8 

Shortly after the new French ra- 
tion procedme was inaugurated, the 
French Expeditionary Corps was reas- 
signed to Seventh Army to participate 
in Dragoon. Sullivan and Bare then 
learned that Brazilian troops would join 
Fifth Army. On 16 July 1944, the first 
contingent of the Brazilian Expedition- 
ary Force (BEE) arrived in Naples. By 
the end of 1944 the force had grown 
from a combat team of five thousand to 
an infantry division drawing twenty 
thousand rations daily. The Brazilian 



menu was less complex than the one for 
the French troops. Essentially, the 
Brazilians accepted the standard B ra- 
tion with only minor modifications. 
Peanut butter, pickles, beets, mustard, 
tomato extracts, canned corn, and dried 
beans were not popular with the BEE; 
eventually these foods were deleted 
while national dietary preferences led to 
an increase in the allowances of black 
beans, rice, lard, salt, sugar, and coffee.*^ 

The menu served to Italian cobel- 
ligerents also generally followed the B 
ration, modified to suit Italian tastes. 
The quantity of meat was considerably 
less than that eaten by the Americans, 
but allowances of flour, cheese, and 
onions were greater. Because they were 
in their own country, Italians were freer 
than the French and Brazilians to sup- 
plement the ration from local sources so 
long as the Italian Government paid the 
bills. Throughout the countryside 
Italian imits obtained fresh vegetables, 
fruits, nuts, olive oil, salt, wine, and 
yeast. 

With the approach of winter along 
the Gothic Line, the Fifth Army sought 
permission to increase the ration allow- 
ances of Italian troops. But AFHQ, 
complying with a War Department 
directive that reflected growing food 
shortages in the United States, consider- 
ably reduced the allowances instead. 
Sullivan protested to both Ramsey and 
Col. Georges F. Doriot in the OQMG 
in Washino^ton. He did not contest the 



^ (1) Sullivan MS, pp. 28-29. (2) Operational 
Memo 19, OQM Fifth Army, 27 Dec 43. Sullivan 
Papers. (3) QM Supply in Fifth Army, p. 59. 



^^ (1) Fifth Army History, VI, 117. (2) Ltr, Col 
Currey to G-3 Fifth Army, 21 Aug 44, sub: Inspec- 
tion BEF; Acimin Dir 51, Hq Fifth Army, 24 Aug 
44, sub: Supply, Maintenance, and Evacuation of 
BEF; Rad 7790, Clark to McNarney, 24 Feb 45. 
All in Fifth Army, AG 319.1. (3) Cir 88, Hq SOS 
NATOUSA, 3 Aug 44. 



152 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



wisdom of the decision but felt it should 
not apply to the relatively small number 
of Italians giving direct support to com- 
bat troops in the forward areas. Those 
laboring at railheads and in pack mule 
companies were exposed to the rigors of 
the weather, and Italians generally were 
handicapped by inadequate kitchens and 
cooking utensils. Insisting that it was 
time to authorize higher allowances, if 
not to equalize the ration of Italian and 
American combat troops in the forward 
areas, the Fifth Army admitted to AFHQ 
that it had never rigorously conformed 
to the lower allowances. In fact, where 
twenty or fewer Italians worked along- 
side the Americans, Sullivan found that 
he had to feed them on U.S. rations.^" 
He could not operate any other way. "It 
must be appreciated," Tate and Sullivan 
wrote in self-defense, "that Italian mili- 
tary units with the Fifth Army are re- 
lieving approximately 12,000 U.S. 
troops." ^^ 

AFHQ's reply again illustrated that 
logical but varying conclusions can be 
drawn regarding any issue, depending 
on the position from which it is viewed. 
No one could quarrel with Fifth Army's 
solicitude for its personnel, but AFHQ 
felt obliged to see that all Italians ob- 
tained the same ration, whether under 
American or British command. The 



^ (i) Sullivan MS, pp. 28, 151. (2) Ltr, Exec Off 
Ln Sec Fifth Army to QM PBS, 27 Oct 43, sub: 
Rations for Italian Army Pers. PBS AGO 430. (3) 
Ltr, CG AFHQ to All Concerned, 8 Oct 44. sub: 
Supply, Proc, and Accounting for Supply and Equip 
Issued by Allied Depots to Italian Armed Forces. 
Sullivan Papers. (4) QM Supplv in Fifth Army, 
pp. 45, 60. (5) Logistical History of NATOUSA- 
MTOUSA, pp. 285-86. 

^' Msg 1532, Fifth Army to .AFHQ, 23 Oct 44; Ltr^ 
Sullivan to Doriot, 16 Nov 44. Both in Sullivan 
Papers. 



British claimed that a smaller ration 
could be issued without serious effect, 
and the Italian authorities themselves 
advised that the existing scale was supe- 
rior to that which Italian troops had ob- 
tained when fighting under the Fascist 
flag. As in the French situation, AFHQ 
was prepared to temper a broad policy 
with a touch of mercy. As an emer- 
gency measure, AFHQ and MTOUSA 
authorized Truscott to supplement the 
flour and meat ration of those Italian 
troops "forward of the Army Rear 
Boimdary, when engaged in duties of 
an arduous nature and in extreme 
weather conditions only." Early in 
March 1945 these increases were ex- 
tended for several more weeks, at first 
only for 7,500 Italian muleteers but 
shortly afterward for all Italians in Trus- 
cott's command. " 

From the 1899 Hague Conference to 
the 1929 Geneva Convention, prisoners 
of war were protected by international 
agreements. The safety and sanitation 
of internment camps, welfare, postal 
conveniences, and the nutritive value of 
rations were prescribed by provisions to 
which forty-seven countries subscribed. 
Inevitably the agreements affected the 
scope of Quartermaster planning and 
supply more as to rations than clothing. 
The typical prisoner brought with him 
at least the clothes on his back, but he 
was immediately dependent on his cap- 
tors for food. Middleswart designed a 
POW ration to provide a varied menu 
of bread, meats, dairy products, dehy- 



=52Rad G4-482, AAI to Fifth Army, 24 Oct 44: 
quotation from Rad FX-52252, AFHQ to Fifth 
Army, 13 Nov 44; Ltr, McNarney to Truscott, 6 Jan 
45, sub: Rations for Italian Mil in Forward .Area; 
Rad FX-38744, McNarney to Truscott, 1 Mar 45. 
\U in Sullivan Papers. 



RATIONS FOR MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



153 



drated fruits, and vegetables. As for 
other groups, adjustments were made to 
suit national tastes. Italian prisoners, 
for example, received a ration contain- 
ing alimentary pastes, and each man was 
given a daily allowance of local wine in 
lieu of orange and lemon crystals, tea, 
and milk. The prisoner of war menu 
followed in Atlantic Base Section 
(Morocco) in April 1944 allowed each 
man 2.537 pounds of food per day 
broken down as follows: ^^ 

Item Pounds 

Bread, fresh 625 

Meat and meat substitutes 583 

Canned vegetables 274 

Spreads 193 

Dairy products 157 

Alimentary pastes 15 

Canned fruits 1215 

Dehydrated vegetables 105 

Cereals 096 

Sugar and syrup 0625 

Flour 06 

Beverages 035 

Wine (.034 liters) 075 

From Salerno through the Winter 
Line the Allies captured only 5,500 Ger- 
mans, of whom 3,450 were held by the 
Fifth Army. These prisoners presented 
no serious quartermaster problems. The 
policy of providing prisoners of war 
with a ration "substantially equal in 
quantity and quality to that of the U.S. 
troops" was generally adhered to until 
the end of hostilities. At that time, 
some 300,000 Germans surrendered and 
had to be fed until they could be re- 
patriated. Because of food shortages in 
the United States, the inadvisability of 
importing large amounts of food when 



redeployment was going into effect, and 
because of the unbalanced state of cap- 
tured enemy rations, allowances were re- 
duced to 2,000 calories for nonworkers 
and 2,900 calories for manual laborers.^* 

Seventh Army captured more Ger- 
mans than Fifth Army, but retained only 
a modest number in southern France to 
serve as labor troops. Rationing policy 
was governed by NATOUSA directives, 
as in Italy, until Sixth Army Group came 
under ETOUSA command. At the end 
of 1944, GONAD was feeding nearly 
9,000 German POW's utilized by Seventh 
Army, 7,500 with 1st French Army, and 
nearly 11,000 within its own area. Addi- 
tionally, GONAD was supporting more 
than 11,000 Italian troops. These in- 
cluded 1 base depot, 1 railhead, 1 salvage 
collecting, 4 salvage repair, 2 laundry, 2 
bakery, and 24 service companies, and 5 
QM battalion headquarters.^^ 

Feeding the American troops in the 
Mediterranean theater, their Allies, and 
various dependent groups, was an exact- 
ing and complicated task. In accom- 
plishing it successfully, the QMG had 
to adopt new and flexible procedures. 
The experience was valuable, and was 
applied to subsequent operations. Ex- 
tensive as it was, this cannot be regarded 
as one of the major Quartermaster op- 
erations of World War II. The scale 
of Quartermaster activities in other 
theaters, especially in northern Europe, 
was far greater, and moreover included 
certain major responsibilities not en- 
countered by Mediterranean quarter- 
masters. During the North African op- 



^ Memo, Asst Chief UNRRA Mission for CO ABS, 
19 Apr 44, sub: Comparison of Quantities for 1,000 
Rations. Hist Br OQMG. 



5* (1) Admin Instr U.S. POW Inclosures, 
MTOUSA, 21 Nov 44, ch. VII. Sullivan Papers. 
(2) Min, Conf, Deputy Theater Comdr MTOUSA, 
26 Jun 45, p. 45. Hist Br OQMG. 

■« GONAD History, II, 623-24, 859. 



154 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



erations, the Allies decided that the 
majority of German prisoners were to 
be transferred elsewhere. Inertia and 
the fortunes of war conspired to con- 
tinue this policy and make it practicable 
throughout the expanding Mediterran- 
ean theater until the end of hostilities. 
Since Italian prisoners were soon trans- 
formed into cobelligerents, feeding this 
category of personnel never presented a 
really large problem in Mediterranean 
supply. A far larger responsibility in 
all theaters was care for the civilian 
population, but the staff structure of 



Allied Force Headquarters provided a 
special organization for this purpose, 
and it was not a direct Quartermaster 
responsibility. In the spring of 1944 the 
campaigns in the Mediterranean repre- 
sented both the U.S. Army's largest com- 
bat operations and greatest supply effort 
to date in World War II. But these 
accomplishments were soon to be over- 
shado\ved — in scale, in complexity, and 
in the scope of logistical difficulties to 
be overcome — by the tremendous mili- 
tary operations in northern France and 
Germany. 



CHAPTER VI 



Liquid and Solid Fuels 



A plentiful and reliable supply of 
petroleum products was probably the 
single most vital factor in establishing 
Allied logistical superiority over the 
German Army. In large measure the 
Allied armies were carried to victory by 
the internal combustion engine and the 
fuels with which it operated. The ebb 
and flow of warfare across the western 
desert, as the British retreated from 
Libya to Egypt, and then advanced 
from El 'Alamein to Tunisia, could be 
correlated with the relative availability 
of gasoline supplies to Rommel and 
Montgomery.^ More specifically, as the 
American staff in London began its de- 
tailed Bolero planning, the British War 
Office notified it that POL had com- 
prised 67 percent of the daily tonnage 
for the campaigns in Egypt and Libya, 
a figure verified early in the Tunisian 
campaign. An American observer aptly 
summarized the importance of POL 
with the comment that "without petro- 
leum products the war in North Africa 
could not be fought." When these 
statistics and observations are contrasted 
with the fact that in World War I the 
number of trucks operated by the entire 
U.S. Army was only one-third the num- 
ber of horses and mules used for riding, 
draft, and pack purposes, the changing 



nature of modern warfare becomes ap- 
parent.^ 

POL Administration 

Because of the vast quantities of 
petroleum products required in time of 
war by the Army Air Forces, the Navy, 
the British, and vital elements of the 
civilian economy, the Quartermaster 
role in POL matters differed somewhat 
from that for other supplies. Procure- 
ment, wholesale distribution, and final 
issue of rations, clothing, and equipage 
were unbroken chains of Quartermaster 
responsibility. But by contrast, logistical 
control of petroleum products was dele- 
gated among several high-level U.S. and 
Allied agencies. The Quartermaster 
Corps was responsible for the computa- 
tion of Army requirements. In the 
Mediterranean theater, operational de- 
tails were handled by a specially desig- 
nated petroleum officer in each base sec- 
tion, who performed the Class III duties 



' "Operation of the QM Service, Mediterranean 
Base Sector: Part 5, Gasoline Supply," QMTSJ, IV. 
No. 12 (24 March 1044), 14. 



^ (i) Logistics in World War If, Final Report of 
the Army Service Forces (Washington, 1947), p. 94. 
(2) Operations of the Quartermaster Corps, U.S. 
Army During the World War, Monograph 5, Report 
of the Remount Service, A.E.F. (Schuylkill Arsenal, 
1929), p. 1. (3) Quotation from Rpt, Maj Joseph M. 
Sills and Mr. Errol J. Gay, to Maj Gen L. H. 
Campbell, Jr., CofOrd, 20 Mar 43, sub: Trip to 
North African Theater, 20 Jan-27 Feb 43. OCofOrd 
MED 319.25. (4) Middleswart Planning Folder. 
WTF. Poore Papers. 



156 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



normally assigned to the base quarter- 
master. The Quartermaster Corps ac- 
tively re-entered the POL distribution 
system at the next-to-last step where 
fuels were packaged into 5- and 55-gallon 
containers and carried to the distribut- 
ing points for delivery to the ultimate 
consumers. 

An AFHQ Petroleum Section, to 
handle purely military requirements, 
was set up on 1 January 1943. Its chief. 
Col. Gustave H. Vogel, and his deputy, 
Lt. Col. Webster Anderson, were both 
Americans and both members of the 
Quartermaster Corps, but this was not 
considered to be a Quartermaster func- 
tion. Their requisitions were placed 
upon the Army-Navy Petroleum Board 
in Washington. Early in February con- 
trol over all aspects of POL in the Medi- 
terranean area was centralized in the 
AFHQ Petroleum Section and the Mili- 
tary Oil Subcommittee, North African 
Economic Board. Staffed with Ameri- 
can and British officers and civilians 
these offices, both operating under G-4, 
AFHQ, collated the estimated require- 
ments of the Allied forces, as well as 
those of vital civil agencies, and pre- 
pared a consolidated monthly estimate 
which was transmitted to the United 
Kingdom and the United States. In ac- 
cordance with earlier American-British 
agreements, American specifications were 
standardized for the common supply 
sent into North Africa. It was also 
agreed that all products would be 
shipped from the United States until 
fuel became available from Middle East- 
ern sources such as Haifa or the Persian 
Gulf. This pooling system — intended 
to avoid duplication of stocks and facil- 
ities — opened the way for any truck, 
ship, or airplane of any Allied power to 



refuel at any depot in the North African 
theater.^ 

In the combat zone traditional doc- 
trines prevailed, and the army-level 
quartermaster supervised the co-ordina- 
tion of requirements, procurement, stor- 
age, and distribution of liquid fuels, 
oils, and lubricants as well as such solid 
fuels as coal and wood. To simplify 
the procedures for the handling of POL 
products, Sullivan appointed Maj. (later 
colonel) George L. Darley, the com- 
mander of the 204th QM Gasoline Supply 
Battalion, to serve simultaneously as 
Fifth Army Class III officer. By thus 
establishing direct contact between his 
headquarters and the operating units, 
the army quartermaster eliminated du- 
plication of effort. Darley eventually 
controlled 2 tank truck companies and 
2 gasoline supply companies, which op- 
erated an average of 14 POL supply 
points throughout the Italian cam- 
paign.* 

For the initial landing in the south 
of France, CON BASE imitated the or- 
ganization of Peninsular Base Section, 
setting up a POL Section separate from 
the Quartermaster Section. This POL 
Section remained with Delta Base Sec- 
tion when GONAD moved forward to 
Dijon, and from 1 October to 20 De- 
cember 1944 the GONAD Quarter- 
master Section handled POL matters. 
By the latter date, the pipeline from 
Marseille had been brought into the 



* (1) See rpt cited n. 2(3). (2) Erna Risch, Fuels 
for Global Conflict, QMC Historical Studies, 9 (rev. 
ed., Washington, 195a), pp. 5ofT. (3) Hist of AFHQ, 
pt. II, Dec 42-Dec 43, sec. 3, pp. 389, 398-99. (4) 
Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 
227-28. 

* (1) Sullivan MS, p. 55. (2) QM Supply in Fifth 
Army, p. 47. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



157 



GONAD area, and POL responsibilities 
became so heavy that a separate POL 
Section was organized. Within Seventh 
Army, POL functions closely paralleled 
those of Fifth Army already described.' 

Rates of Consumption 

In World War II, in terms of pounds 
per man per day, petroleum products 
and solid fuels constituted about 50 per- 
cent of the total supplies used in an 
overseas theater.'' Because of this, the 
discrepancies brought about by small 
errors in planning invariably repre- 
sented massive tonnages in actual opera- 
tions. In the beginning Sullivan and 
Darley could not foresee all the factors 
that had to be taken into account in 
estimating POL requirements. British 
experience was only a rough guide, and 
U.S. experience tables were nonexistent, 
in planning for the Sardinia operation in 
1943, Sullivan reviewed Torch experi- 
ence and compiled statistics from the 
Tunisian operations. Similar studies were 
also begun by Maj. Victor H. Moore, 
QMC, a member of the Petroleum Sec- 
tion of AFHQ and of NATOUSA, who 
carried his work through the experience 
of II Corps in Tunisia. Moore's report 
came to the attention of the OQMG in 
Washington, which extracted consider- 
able data from it and returned it to the 
field in the form of POL experience 
tables.^ 



= (1) GONAD History, I, 80. (2) See above, ch. 
IV. 

"The remaining 50 percent consisted of rations, 
10 percent; Class II, 8 percent; Class IV, 20 percent; 
and ammunition, 12 percent. Cf OTCQM TSFET 
Operational Study 2, 1 Nov 45, p. 16. 

^(1) Logistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, 
pp. 227-47. (2) Ltr, Moore to Gregory, 6 Jul 43, 



As with ration consumption. North 
African operations taught Class III 
planners that the average rate of gaso- 
line consumption varied with terrain 
and tactical conditions. As already 
noted, POL requirements for the Torch 
landings had been based on an arbitrary 
calculation of 5 gallons per wheeled ve- 
hicle per day and 50 gallons per track- 
laying vehicle, and on that basis the 
assault convoys transported a 7-day sup- 
ply of POL. Thanks to the short dura- 
tion of Torch, this supply was adequate 
until the D plus 3 convoy arrived. Yet 
the brevity of the fighting, both Sullivan 
and Moore knew, made it impossible 
for them to accept the validity of the 
5- and 50-gallon factors. Moore there- 
fore examined more closely all POL 
factors emerging from Tunisian experi- 
ence. 

Two types of experience tables were 
developed out of the Tunisian battles. 
One applied to cross-country marches 
and active combat, and the other re- 
flected experience in the administrative 
movement of units.* In the southern 



sub: Rpt II Corps Gasoline Supply in North Afri- 
can Campaign. OQMG NATOUSA 319.25. (Here- 
after cited as Moore Rpt.) (3) Opn Dir, OQM Fifth 
Army, 2 Aug 44. Hist Br OQMG. 

* Both tables were compiled in terms of gallons 
of gasoline per mile. The results in detail were as 
follows: 

VthicUs and Units Gallons per mile 

Vehicles in combat 

light tank o 76 

Medium tank 1 .65 

Half-track carrier o. 29 

J-^-ton truck 0.07 

2j.^-ton truck o. 22 

Units on administrative march 

Infantry division 193 

Tank destroyer battalion 46 

Field artillery battalion 35 

Field artillery battery 4 

QM truck company II 



158 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Tunisian campaign, where the II Corps 
had lengthy supply lines, the allowance 
of 5 gallons per day for wheeled vehicles 
was insufficient while the 50-gallon fac- 
tor for track-laying vehicles was con- 
firmed. When the II Corps redeployed 
into northern Tunisia, fighting there 
for three weeks on a much narrower 
front, commanders made greater use of 
armor and the earlier experience was 
reversed. Actual consumption per mile 
in the field did not vary to any signifi- 
cant degree from what had been pre- 
dicted by the War Department. Fluc- 
tuations in the number of miles traveled 
per day by various types of vehicles ac- 
counted for the variations in consump- 
tion. Nevertheless, a 50-mile average 
operational day for all types of vehicles 
appeared to be valid in most combat 
situations, and was used in computing 
requirements. Variations in the length 
of the supply lines were reflected in the 
level of supply maintained at the for- 
ward POL railheads. 

For operations in Sicily and at 
Salerno, the 50-mile factor continued to 
serve as a basic planning figure. The 
Avalanche Plan was based on a fio:ure 
of 6.25 gallons at 8 miles per gallon, 
plus a 10 percent safety factor, which 
made fi.875 gallons of gasoline per ve- 
hicle per day the specific planning fac- 
tor. When the number of each type of 
vehicle ashore was known, the 50-mile 
operational day allowance would be 5 
gallons for wheeled vehicles, 30 gallons 
for half-track vehicles, and 60 orallons 
for tanks. The requirements for engine 
oils were computed on a basis of 5.5 
gallons for each 100 gallons of gasoline, 
and greases on the basis of 2 pounds for 
each 100 gallons — a figure subsequently 
subdivided into percentages for the vari- 



ous weights of greases to be used. When 
Sullivan and Darley attempted to apply 
the 50-mile operational allowances on a 
basis of gallons per day per type of ve- 
hicle, they were never able to secure an 
accurate figure of the number of each 
type of vehicle present in the command.^ 
On 25 November 1943 Darley estab- 
lished a new system. He set POL levels 
at 4 days for the army dump, 2 days for 
railheads, with 1 gallon per man per day 
as the basis of issue. Beginning in Jan- 
uary 1944 the Fifth Army published its 
monthly POL consumption rates in gal- 
lons per man per day. 

The continued experiments with dif- 
ferent methods of calculating require- 
ments would appear to indicate dissatis- 
faction with the results, even though 
there were no serious shortages of petro- 
leum products in the Mediterranean 
war. The only overdrawn calculation — 
as revealed by experience — was the fac- 
tor of 5.5 gallons of lubricating oils to 
each 100 gallons of gasoline for vehicles, 
a figure of July 1943 that proved to be 
almost double the actual consumption 
rate in January 1944. More significant 
was the confirmation in Italy of the 
Tunisian experience that fuel consump- 
tion varied with the terrain and tactical 
situation. In the late spring of 1944, 
when the Fifth Army jumped off from 
the Gustav Line, broke out of Anzio 
beachhead, and pursued the Germans 
northward toward Rome, consumption 
of gasoline rose from .8592 gallons per 
man per day to 1.280 gallons. Before 
the summer was over, the Germans 
checked the advance. U.S. armor came 
out of the line and into reserve where 
it trained. Fifth Army's POL require- 



» Sullivan MS, pp. 12, 48ff. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



159 



ments fell perceptibly — to a daily figure 
of 1.097 gallons per man in August 1944 
■ — ^only to rise again to 1.514 gallons per 
man per day dining the winter of 1944- 
45, ^vhen troops also used gasoline for 
heating purposes. As the weather grew 
colder, troops also burned diesel oil to 
keep ^varm and vehicles required light- 
weight lubricating oils. Conversely, the 
resinnption of the offensive to^\'ard the 
Po River saw a declining requirement 
for greases and lubrications; at the same 
time per capita gasoline consumption 
soared to 1.678 gallons as armored move- 
ments ate up fuel. For the Dragoon 
operation, the planning factor was 1.375 
gallons per man per day.^° 

Decanting Operations 

Because the Quartermaster Corps' 
POL mission in North Africa ^vas essen- 
tially that of a front-line retailer rather 
than a rear area Avholesaler, the transfer 
of gasoline from its bulk state — in a rail- 
road tanker, a pipeline, or tank truck — 
into a semiportable 55-gallon drum or 
a portable 5-gallon can \vas a responsi- 
bility Xvith many ramifications. First of 
all, the inflammable nature of petro- 
leum products meant that spacious sites 
had to be found. But ^vide dispersion 
^vas only the beginning of many per- 
plexities in operations. Containers Avere 
often so scarce that the impetus of POL 
toward the railheads ^vas seriously im- 
peded. Drums ^vere so heavy ^vhen filled 
— ^veighing about 400 pounds — that han- 
dlers, ^vho often became careless through 



fatigue, suffered hernias and other in- 
juries. It took a minimum of three 
men to load or unload a full drum on 
a 21/2-ton truck. At best handling was 
a slow, dangerous, process. Because 
brass or bronze wrenches were not al- 
ways available to loosen the bungs on 
the drums, wooden mallets had to be 
improvised to eliminate the hazard of 
sparks. All these factors and many more 
made themselves felt at the point where 
POL was packaged, and could often 
spell the difference between wasteful or 
economical procedure and between de- 
layed or timely deliveries. 

The widespread use of the 55-gallon 
drum throughout the Mediterranean 
theater marked a noteworthy deviation 
from the procedures for gasoline de- 
livery planned for Bolero and the 
Torch operation. ^^ There were seldom 
enough jerricans in the rear areas to 
permit a direct bulk-to-can transfer, and 
demolitions hindered the movement of 
railroad tank cars or tank trucks into 
the forward areas. Moreover the at- 
tempt to extend a pipeline over semi- 
mountainous terrain involved a dispro- 
portionate expenditure of labor and ma- 
terials and was not completed in time 
to support the operation. Thus a gap 
appeared between the forwardmost bulk 
delivery point and the rearmost dump 
where the 5-gallon can could be effi- 
ciently handled. 

On the Ouled Rahmoun-Tebessa sup- 
ply line the delivery system illustrates a 
solution which ^vas practiced in subse- 
quent operations. The II Corps re- 



'" (1) Ltrs and Attachments, Sullivan to Clark, 
(S Nov 43, 4 Sep 44-11 May 45, sub: POL Statislcal 
Chart Studies. Sullivan Papers. (2) Ltr, Darley to 
OCMH, 10 Oct 54. Hist Br OQMG. (3) Logistical 
History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 479. 



" By contrast, the use of drums was standard in 
the Pacific, where 5-gallon cans were rejected by 
combat units. See Stauffer, The Qiiartermaster 
Corps: Operations in the War Against Japan, pp. 
218-21. 



160 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




Emptying Gasoline Drums into "catch 
basins" in Seventh Army area, January 
1945. 



ceived its gasoline in 55-gallon drums 
from Eastern Base Section, but could 
not ship these heavy containers to rail- 
heads ^vhere both service personnel and 
dispensing equipment were scarce. Fur- 
thermore, the direct transfer of gasoline 
from drums to cans, using small ineffi- 
cient portable dispensers and shifting 
this equipment from drum to drum, was 
a very slow process. Attempts to use 
heavy-duty trailer-mounted dispensers 
were unsuccessful, for they quickly over- 
heated when subjected to this type of 
intermittent operation. II Corps de- 
cided, therefore, that the contents of the 
drums should be returned to a bulk 
state before canning. Satisfactory bulk 
containers were improvised from 500- 
gallon tanks taken from old railroad 



engines and sunk into the ground or, 
cruder still, deep pits were lined with 
tarpaulins. From these dumping vats, 
heavy gasoline-driven pumps forced the 
fuel through a network of hoses into 
thousands of 5-gallon cans aligned in 
well-dispersed rows. When rain threat- 
ened to contaminate the gasoline, each 
vat was covered with a tarpaulin. 

In addition to wastage by spilling and 
evaporation, this system represented in- 
efficient use of transportation. Carrying 
120,000 gallons — the daily turnover — to 
II Corps, Eastern Base Section used 120 
2 •/2-ton trucks between Ouled Rahmoun 
and Tebessa. This round trip con- 
sumed 8,000 gallons or 6V2 percent of 
the payload, a figure almost double the 
amount that would have been expended 
by 2,000-gallon tank trucks on the same 
route. But the few trucks of that type 
available were assigned to the Army Air 
Forces. ^^ 

The numerous handling operations 
in the three-step procedure — bulk to 
drum, drum to bulk, and bulk to can — 
required an extra labor force and put 
an additional strain on the dispensing 
equipment. Because the filled drums 
were too heavy to be handled manually, 
A-frames and grappling hooks ^vere im- 
provised and attached to cargo trucks to 
lift the cumbersome drums out of 
Dukws or trucks. Meanwhile the ineffi- 
ciency of the system did not end with 
the delivery of gasoline. The need to 
store the bulky drums until decanted 
and again until evacuated added to the 
space requirements at a Class III supply 
point. For example, the dump at Te- 
bessa occupied three square miles. But 
even more important was the fact that 



'^ (1) Pounder Rpt, p. 60. (2) Moore Rpt. (3) 
QMTSJ, IV, No. 20 (19 May 1944), 20. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



61 



a special allocation of trucks had to be 
made to return the empty drums to the 
source of supply if the cycle was not to 
be interrupted. For all of these dis- 
advantages, the realities of field opera- 
tions demanded the use of available 
equipment. In the middle of 1944, the 
Fifth Army recommended additional 
personnel and equipment for QM gaso- 
line supply companies. Sullivan called 
for more collapsible containers (Mareng 
Cells) , hoses, coupling valves, sixteen 
2V2-ton trucks with winches, one iy2-ton 
fire truck, and additional gasoline dis- 
pensers. The War Department's an- 
swer came after V-E Day with the pub- 
lication of a new Table of Organization 
and Equipment. ^^ 

Sentiment against the use of drums 
in forward areas persisted throughout 
the Mediterranean war, and quartermas- 
ters Avere never loath to employ other 
techniques of delivery. Beginning in 
mid-March, gasoline from Eastern Base 
Section was delivered to II Corps by a 
motley fleet of American, British, and 
French tank trucks, with capacities rang- 
ing from 750 to 4,000 gallons. Even 
some old porcelain-lined wine trucks 
and trailers were pressed into service. 
Before II Corps shifted to the northern 
zone, these vehicles moved approxi- 
mately 3,000 tons of POL directly from 
the ports of Philippeville and Bone to 
the canning point at Tebessa, bypassing 
the drum-filling station at Ouled Rah- 
moun. 



" (1) Field Rpts (NATOUSA) to Comdt QM 
School, Fort Lee, Va., 1944-45, sub: Observations 
by Persons Returning From Overseas, vol. II, items 
60, 95, 125, 145. OQMG MED 319.25. (2) Ltr, 
Clark to Devers, Jun 44, sub: Permanent Changes 
in T/O&E's QM Gasoline Supply Co. OQMG MED 
319.25. (3) Sullivan MS, pp. 56-57. (4) T/O&E 10- 
77, 21 Jun 45. 



Enjoying considerable success in Italy 
was the "tanker" which Darley's bat- 
talion and divisional units improvised 
by equipping a 2i/4-ton cargo truck with 
eighteen empty 55-gallon oil drums and 
a portable dispenser. The drums were 
filled while on the cargo truck and the 
truck circulated among motor parks and 
airstrips, using its own dispenser to 
pump fuel directly into armored tanks 
and airplanes without removing a single 
drum. Altiiough it represented a mild 
infringement of regulations that pro- 
hibited the filling of drums while they 
were aboard trucks, because of dangers 
from static electricity, this expedient had 
the advantage of providing a 990-gallon 
payload in contrast to the regulation 875- 
gallon load carried by a truck and trailer 
moving 5-gallon cans, or the 750-ganon 
load of the standard tank truck. ^* 

Another Fifth Army adaptation, in- 
spired by a desire to increase direct de- 
livery of gasoline, was the American-style 
service station. Wherever surveys re- 
vealed a large number of casual trucks — 
at busy highway crossings, supply instal- 
lations, or rest centers — Darley erected 
field dispensing units on each side of the 
roadway. Five such stations were located 
at ten-mile intervals on the highway 
between Leghorn and Florence. A 
typical station consisted of a captured 
German 750-gallon tank, mounted on 
several 55-gallon drums. A simple two- 
hose system fed the gasoline by gravity 
into the customer's tank. Instead of 
military police roadside signs were 
posted to attract customers. Each sign 
was large enough to be read at a distance 



^"■QMTSJ, III, No. 14 (9 October 1943), 13. Fifth 
Army units received 3.2 percent of their gasoline 
in this manner in late 1943. 



162 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



and all instructions were printed in sev- 
eral languages. These stations served 
traffic moving in both directions, and 
simultaneously reduced the number of 
5-gallon cans that would otherwise have 
been emptied, washed, filled, issued, and 
perhaps lost.^^ 

The 5-gallon Caji and Its Army Class III 
Home 

Whether gasoline moved from a port 
toward the front lines by tank car, tank 
truck, pipeline, or drum, the 5-gallon 
can proved to be the indispensable con- 
tainer for delivery of fuel to the combat 
forces. Strangely enough, when the can 
was empty of its expendable contents, it 
became a nonexpendable Class II or IV 
item of Quartermaster supply, to be 
drawn from a Class II or IV warehouse. 
As originally conceived the 5-gallon can 
was designed primarily to be carried as 
a reserve tank, more or less permanently 
identified with a certain vehicle, and 
with a certain bracket holder on that 
vehicle. In theory the can was not to 
wander, but combat experience changed 
all this, and the can became a constant 
roamer. In Tunisia Class III officers 
also demonstrated that a unit's wartime 
allowance tables for the 5-gallon can 
were ridiculous. The policy of "no can, 
no gas" meant that the daily demand for 
X gallons of gasoline required a mini- 
mum capacity in cans of 2x. If there was 
any depth at all to the can exchange 
system, the requirement might easily 
reach 4X or 5X. The Tunisian campaign 



also showed that if the can had any tem- 
porary home it would be either in a 
corps (later in an army) Class III base 
dump where the container was cleaned 
and refilled or in the Class III railhead 
where it was momentarily stored or ex- 
changed for an empty one.^*^ 

Adapted from a German model cap- 
tured by the British in 1940, the 5-gallon 
can, known first to the Americans as a 
blitz can and later as the jerrican, pos- 
sessed a number of advantages over the 
heavy and cumbersome 10-gallon drum 
used by the U.S. Army in the 1930's. 
The British can was an exact imitation 
of the captured German model; the 
American pattern (called ameri-can by 
the British) was just a bit smaller and 
lighter, and had a different closure. ^^ 
Because of their shape (almost identi- 
cal), both cans stacked easily and did not 
shift or roll in stowage. Moreover, they 
were light enough to be handled by one 
man, yet durable enough for extensive 
use in the field, and the position of the 
handles made for easy transportability. 
The American model had a round open- 
ing for its screw-type cap, into which a 
flexible nozzle could be fitted. This was 



'"Ltr, Capt Phillip I. Laser, Class III Off, ist Inf 
Div, to Div QM, 3 Jun 43, sub: Critique on Class 
III Supplies During Combat. Frink Rpt. 

"Both models were 13% by &y^ by 181/2 inches. 
Shipping specifications were as follows: 



'^QMTSJ, XIV, No. 20 (19 May 1944), 19-24; 

VII, No. 12 (23 March 1945), 24. Fifth Army units 

received 5.1 percent of their gasoline in this man- 
ner by late 1943. 





Weight (lbs.) 


Cans per 
Long Ton 




Empty 


Filled 
(MT 80) 


U.S. model 

German and British models. 


10 

II. 5 


40 
43-9 


S6 
5« 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



163 



needed to prevent spilling when gasoline 
was poured into the flush or countersunk 
openings of tanks on American vehicles. 
The true jerrican had a cam-operated 
locked cap and a short spout. Later in 
the war, it too was fitted with an adapter 
and a flexible nozzle. But both types of 
nozzles were sometimes lacking, and in 
that case the original model which could 
be opened manually and poured, after a 
fashion, without a funnel, was more de- 
sirable. Two additional merits sliould 
be noted for both cans: when filled with 
gasoline, they would float, and they were 
excellent for carrying drinking water.'* 

Utility of the 5-gallon can for amphi- 
bious operations was demonstrated when 
every vehicle participating in the assault 
landings of Torch supplemented its full 
tank with from two to ten filled cans. In 
fact, the entire supply of combat-loaded 
gasoline for Torch was similarly pack- 
aged and the assault forces theoretically 
had enough reserve fuel in cans to meet 
their needs until the cans, drums, and 
bulk fuel on the D plus 3 convoy were 
ashore, stored, and readied for issue. 
During the Tunisian campaign, more 
and more bracket attachments for cans 
appeared on vehicles. Fenders, bump- 
ers, cab tops, and imderbody truck space 
were used to house the cans, thereby in- 
creasing the cruising radius. Through 
use of these brackets, a disabled truck 
was often a source of cans to other trucks 
in the convoy. 

The Tunisian campaign also brought 
the 5-gallon can to its proper place in a 
QM dump or railhead site. A quarter- 
master arranged the cans in rows of 1,000 
and at a glance he could easily make up 
his tallies in 5,000-gallon lots. Once the 



can found its place in a Class III installa- 
tion, a whole new method of operations 
began to develop around its storage and 
issue requirements. The system soon 
began to acquire standard procedures 
and an organization tailored to carry 
them out. In the Husky operation, the 
Seventh Army quartermaster observed 
that "all fuels for unloading across 
beaches must be in 5-gallon cans and use 
of this container should continue for a 
maximum of from 20 to 30 days. The 5- 
gallon can is the only satisfactory con- 
tainer in actual combat and fuel should 
be so packed, up to the limit of the 
availability of cans." '" 

For field operations the 5-gallon can 
early demonstrated superiority over the 
5-gallon disposable containers known as 
"flimsies." Made of thin metals and 
poorly constructed, both American and 
British flimsies failed to withstand cor- 
rosion, shock, rough handling, or even 
pressure from normal stacking. Their 
only advantage over the jerrican was 
possible usefulness as sheet metal. Esti- 
mates of petroleum losses in the flimsies 
ranged from 40 to 60 percent. Ships 
loaded with the throwaway containers 
frequently steamed into North African 
ports with up to sixteen inches of gaso- 
line in their cargo holds, and at least 
one vessel exploded because of this dan- 
gerous condition. Eager to discourage 
the use of the flimsies "at once" — in the 
midst of the Tunisian campaign — sev- 
eral American observers noted that 
"there was no excuse for the losses ex- 
perienced from these cans," and attri- 
buted the apparently excessive require- 



^^ Risch, Fuels for Global Conflict, pp. 90—91. 



'^0 (1) Pounder Rpt. (2) Moore Rpt. (3) Suggested 
QM Ping SOP for Amph Opns, prepared by QM 
Sec Seventh Army, n.d. Hist Br OQMG. 



164 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



ments of the theater to "losses of prod- 
ucts that never reach the vehicle." ^^ 

The Fifth Army operated three types 
of Class III installations: the army base 
dump, in which all POL products were 
stored at a ten-day level; the Class III 
railheads (an average of thirteen of which 
were in operation at all times in Italy), 
serving the organic divisional units; and 
the filling stations operated in army or 
corps areas to serve their own units or 
along major higliways to supply transient 
trucks. Elements of the 204th Gasoline 
Supply Battalion operated the POL in- 
stallations. Darley found that elaborate 
camouflage of his railheads was not pos- 
sible as the stacks of 5-gallon cans were 
issued and replaced several times a day. 
He placed reliance on wide dispersion, 
friendly air superiority, and organic or 
attached antiaircraft units. As a safe- 
guard against fire, he also emphasized 
dispersion of the stacks of cans and 
drums, directing that they be at least 
seventy-five yards apart. His men did 
not ditch the ground around the stacks 
because the danger was not so much 
from flowing, burning, gasoline as from 
the explosion of containers and the 
spread of fire by flying sparks in the air. 
They piled dirt up and around the stacks 
of containers in order to cushion the 
shock of an explosion and force the 
energy upward, rather than oiUward. 

In laying out an actual dump site, 
Darley instructed his gasoline supply 
companies to stack 5-gallon cans in rows, 
2 cans high, 25 cans long, and 20 cans 
wide, or a total of 5,000 gallons per stack. 
When it was necessary to store drums 



within the range of enemy artillery, they 
were placed on the ground with their 
bung ends up, rather than on their sides, 
as exploding gasoline blew out the end 
of the drums. If the drums were in a 
horizontal position, the explosion ignited 
other piles in the vicinity. For fighting 
fires among the stacks, foam-type extin- 
guishers were often unsatisfactory as the 
foamite tended to remain on the tops 
of cans and did not smother the fire be- 
low and between the cans. Darley rec- 
ommended the use of mud and water to 
fight fires effectively. 

Eighty-eight percent of gasoline went 
forward from railheads to the average in- 
fantry division in 5-gallon cans. They 
were issued and filled only by daylight 
because working at night increased the 
accident rate and resulted in many costly 
mistakes. Darley found that cans filled 
at night were usually too full, which 
caused leakage the following day while 
the cans were in transit or in storage at 
dumps, thus increasing the fire hazard. 
In the northern Apennines stacks of 
gasoline cans sometimes became com- 
pletely buried under snow. Having pre- 
viously marked all the 5,000-gallon 
caches, which were dispersed over a large 
area, with long poles set in the middle 
of the stacks, the 3840th Gasoline Supply 
Company experienced no difficulty in 
locating its stocks.-^ 

Since the supply cycle depended on 
the availability of empty cans at the can- 
ning point, imits were prohibited from 
accumulating cans beyond their allow- 
ances, and the "no can, no gas" doctrine 
was reiterated by Fifth Army in Italy. 



^(1) Rpt cited n. 2(3). (2) Moore Rpt. (3) 
Memo, Col William F. Campbell for Gregory, 3 
Mar 43. OQMG MED 350.5. 



^(IMTSJ, III, No. 14 (9 October 1943), 13; IV, 
No. 20 (19 May 1944), 19-24; VII, No. 12 (23 
March 1945), 24. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



165 



So long as supply lines were short, the 
quantity of cans presented no serious 
problems, but in the summer of 1944, 
when the drive to the Arno was in full 
momentum, the shortage became acute. 
By mid-Jime, Clark annoimced that the 
supply of 5-gallon cans in Italy was "ex- 
tremely critical." In moving from one 
bivouac area to another, units aban- 
doned the empty containers, which were 
also used for many other purposes than 
the intended ones. As part of the drive 
to make every individual "gas-can con- 
scious," all troops were called on to re- 
port or turn in abandoned containers. 
By 1 August 1944, the situation was no 
better; rather, it had deteriorated, but 
not because of carelessness or neglect. 
The urgent demands of another build- 
up in Italy — in three weeks, Seventh 
Army was to land over the beaches in 
southern France — had cut deep into 
Fifth Army's inventory. Since April 
1944, 250,000 full 5-gallon cans of gaso- 
line and 25,000 cans of diesel oil had 
been frozen in Naples for the assault 
phase of Anvil. The seriousness of the 
can shortage was implicit in the warning 
that all units operating in corps and 
army areas would draw their gasoline in 
55-gallon drums. Clark soon issued in- 
structions that a way be devised to make 
this cumbersome container easier to 
handle. " 

In the winter of 1944-45 the shortage 
continued. One factor was the increased 
amount of time a can spent in transit 



from the forwardmost railhead to the 
using unit and in return to the fdling 
point. Snow on high ground and mud 
in the valleys were serious obstacles to 
motor transport operations. Fortu- 
nately, the Fifth Army was able to bor- 
row some containers from the British 
Eighth Army, operating along the Adri- 
atic coast. By the spring of 1945 the 
situation was somewhat better. More- 
over, improved weather and the exten- 
sion of the POL pipeline to Raticosa 
Pass, halfway from Florence to Bologna, 
had reduced requirements. In prepara- 
tion for the final Allied drive into the 
Po valley in mid-April, 300,000 5-gallon 
cans were moved up from Florence to 
Raticosa, and Darley was able to issue 
additional cans to the infantry divisions 
and attached mobile units. -^ In the 
open terrain north of Bologna, units op- 
erating under conditions of mobile war- 
fare consumed more gasoline than dur- 
ing any previous phase of the Italian 
campaign. The combat forces were sup- 
plied by decanting operations at the end 
of the pipeline, which was extended 
rapidly across the north Italian plain.-* 
In the south of France, pipelines were 
extended northward from the Marseille 
area as fast as technical limitations per- 
mitted, but Seventh Army's extremely 
rapid advance soon left them far behind. 
Since tank cars were scarce, large 
amounts of POL were packaged and 
sent forward in freight cars from the 



==2 (1) Ltr, AG Fifth Army to All Units, 3 May 
44, sub: Illegal Retention of Containers, Gasoline, 
5-Gal. IV Corps, AG 400. (2) Ltr, AG Fifth Army 
to All Units, 14 Jun 44, sub: Supply of 5-Gal. Con- 
tainers. Fifth Army, AG 457. (3) Ltr, AG Fifth 
Army to All Units, 25 Jul 44, sub: Reduction in 
Use of 5-Gal. Cans. Sullivan Papers. 



^ (1) Memo, QM Class III for Tate, 30 Oct 44, 
sub: 5-Gal. Cans; Rad 2109, G-4 Fifth Army to 
AFHQ, 4 Nov 44; Ltr, ExO OQM Fifth Army to 
CO 204th QM Bn, 6 Feb 45, sub: Rpt of Slate Mtg, 
AFHQ; Class III Daily Jnl, Fifth Army, 1, 11 Apr 
45. All in Sullivan Papers. (2) QM Supply in Fifth 
Army, p. 81. 

2* (1) QM Supply in Fifth Army, pp. 64-66. (2) 
Sullivan MS, pp. 180-81. 



166 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



decanting points to GONAD reconsign- 
ment points, and thence to unit rail- 
heads. Supplemented by tanker barges 
on the Rhone and its tributaries, this 
system carried the southern forces all 
the way to the Rhine. -^ 

Solid Fuels 

Solid fuels, like POL, were of vital 
concern to other nations and to other 
U.S. agencies as well as to the U.S. 
Army. A combined British-American 
fuel section was organized in a matter 
of days after AFHQ was set up in Al- 
giers. It was charged with computing, 
requisitioning, and allocating all coal 
requirements of the theater, both mili- 
tary and civil, except those of the Royal 
Navy. Moreover, it supervised the op- 
eration of coal mines in Morocco, Sar- 
dinia, and Italy. The AFHQ quarter- 
master represented the U.S. Army in 
dealing with this section, and it should 
be noted that, unlike POL, solid fuels 
were a Class III Quartermaster Corps 
responsibility at all levels as far as the 
Army was concerned. Purely military 
uses for coal, charcoal, and wood were 
largely confined to heating billets, tents, 
and hospitals, and the operation of mili- 
tary railroads, ships, and blacksmiths' 
forges. The Army also became deeply 
interested, although not directly con- 
cerned, in measures for the relief and 
economic rehabilitation of liberated 
areas. Practical experience demonstrated 
that unless raw materials could be pro- 
vided to the contractors, local procure- 
ment of goods and services was virtually 
impossible, and in the Mediterranean 
area solid fuels were the most essential 



of raw materials. Quartermasters there- 
fore found it profitable to co-operate 
closely with the G-5 sections of various 
headquarters and with such purely civil- 
ian agencies as the United Nations Re- 
lief and Rehabilitation Administration.-*' 

The Quartermaster contingent as part 
of the SOS for Operation Torch was 
armed with a terse mandate to the effect 
that "coal and other heating fuel will 
be procured locally, initially." Writing 
at Casablanca six months later, the his- 
torian for the quartermaster of Atlantic 
Base Section noted wearily that "this 
masks a complex problem so hopelessly 
entangled in political and industrial is- 
sues that it is still unsolved." -^ Before 
the war, Morocco's eastern coal mines 
at Djerada had produced less than a 
quarter of its requirements, and the 
situation was only slightly improved 
after the country was occupied. Early 
in 1943 when I Armored Corps antici- 
pated a major build-up in Morocco, a 
series of conferences took place in Casa- 
blanca, and both civilian and military 
needs were studied. The decision at 
that time, which was rather typical of 
Mediterranean experience regarding 
Class III supply, was that less than 1 per- 
cent of local coal production could be 
made available to the U.S. forces. 

The shortages of coal and delays in 
the delivery of field ranges forced the 
Quartermaster Section of Atlantic Base 
Section to search for firewood to be used 
in cooking and heating. Because local 
stocks were too meager to meet civilian 
needs, there was some surprise when 
the Bureau of Forests in Rabat wel- 



CONAD History, I, 105, 109, 132, 233-39. 



^ (1) Hist of AFHQ, pt. II, sec. 3, pp. 388-91. 
(2) Komer, Civil Affairs, ch. VII, pp. 12-15. OCMH. 
"Hist QM ABS, p. 15. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



167 



corned the inquiries of Col. James E. 
Poore, Jr., who reconnoitered the area 
for G-4, Atlantic Base Section. Wood 
was available in the forests and native 
labor could be hired to chop the trees, 
but French charcoal-burning trucks were 
no match for the crude paths and hills 
over ^vhich these loads had to be hauled. 
This proved to be only a temporary 
complication. One officer, 25 men, and 
10 ^-ton trucks were sent to Koebia, on 
the plain between Port-Lyautey and Pet- 
itjean, where they established a shuttle 
system across the 6-mile gap between the 
forest and the railroad. While the op- 
eration lasted, 15 carloads of wood ^vere 
loaded daily on the trains returning 
from Algiers, westbound for Port-Lyau- 
tey, Casablanca, and Rabat. By the time 
the forest in this area was cleared of its 
available wood, gasoline ranges came 
into general use and the need to rely on 
wood for cooking purposes was practi- 
cally eliminated.-® Meanwhile, the Brit- 
ish War Office assumed the responsibility 
for procuring coal in the United King- 
dom and delivering it to designated 
ports in North Africa and Italy for use 
by American forces. By October 1943, 
the British had agreed to ship 150,000 
long tons of coal a month and charge 
it to reverse lend-lease. 

In planning for the Naples base the 
Allies agreed to maintain common stock- 
piles of POL products and coal. The 
Petroleum Section, AFHQ, had the re- 
sponsibility for allocating petroleum and 
there was no serious problem in this 
field. But with coal, thorny problems 
had to be solved. As in the North 
African campaigns. Brig. Gen. Thomas 



^ (1) Poore Journal, Nov, Dec 42. (2) Hist QM 
ABS, pp. 16-18. 



H. Ramsey had over-all responsibilities 
for the Allied coal stocks and adminis- 
tered coal allocations from Algiers, ex- 
cept for the Royal Navy and the Minis- 
try of Transport. In Italy, Ramsey's 
deputy, a British brigadier, was chief 
of the AFHQ coal section. This officer 
received requirements from six separate 
military organizations and the Allied 
Control Commission's coal section. Next 
to Canada and France, Italy had been 
the third largest peacetime importer of 
coal among the nations of the world. 
In North Africa a French Government- 
supervised cartel handled distribution 
for the Allies. In Italy the coal "Mono- 
poli" was a similar cartel but Ramsey 
could not use its services because the 
headquarters and records were in enemy- 
occupied Rome and most of its opera- 
tions centered in the Po valley. With 
little local coal available, Ramsey's ini- 
tial allocation problems were hard to 
solve. For the U.S. forces, the Quarter- 
master, Peninsular Base Section, sub- 
mitted a monthly bid for coal to Ram- 
sey's deputy. Once the allocation was 
approved, Painter's Class III officer was 
free to issue coal. Painter in turn had 
two major customers, the Fifth Army 
and the French Expeditionary Corps. 

During the first few days at Naples 
a large coal pile reserve caught fire, but 
Ramsey's agents nevertheless searched 
out and requisitioned some 30,000 tons. 
The first colliers soon arrived, but could 
not discharge coal at Naples because of 
widespread demolitions. Moreover, the 
Liberty ships used as colliers, because 
of their deep draft, could only be dis- 
charged at either Naples or Bari. Ul- 
timately a pier of the Ilva Steel Com- 
pany at nearby Bagnoli came into use. 
Actual consumption rates were lower 



168 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



than preinvasion estimates, for the de- 
struction of industries and utilities was 
much greater than had been anticipated. 
Likewise the amount of bagged coal used 
by the Avalanche amphibious force was 
small. Because rail lines and rolling 
stock had been thoroughly destroyed, 
coal was not needed for train service 
until the end of 1943. During Novem- 
ber and December, the Allied stockpile 
received 10,000 tons, bringing the total 
amount handled to approximately 100,- 
000 tons. As the tactical situation per- 
mitted, coal piers opened at Civitavec- 
chia, Piombino, and Leghorn through 
which moved all the imported coal and 
coke used for steel, cement, gas, and 
power plants as well as for heating of 
military quarters."^ 

In its combat zone, the Fifth Army 
earmarked solid fuels almost exclusively 
for space heating. Because British coal 
was in short supply during the first 
winter, Sullivan restricted its use to the 
ward tents of field hospitals, allowing 
ninety-five pounds per tent stove per 
day. If a hospital was in a building 
equipped with furnaces, the coal allot- 
ment was five pounds of coal per hour 
per square foot of grate surface. Merit- 
ing a low priority, offices and recreation 
rooms were heated only by cordwood or 
scrap lumber.^" 

Through the winter months. General 
Sullivan sent organic Quartermaster 
transportation to the rear areas to ob- 
tain firewood, making purchases wher- 
ever he could and then forwarding re- 
ceipts to the base section quartermaster 



for payment. By the end of January 
1944, when troops and equipment had 
been diverted to Anzio, he called upon 
Peninsular Base Section to undertake 
the supply and delivery of all firewood, 
and asked for increased allotments of 
coal lest wood stocks prove inadequate. 
During the summer of 1944, hospitals 
and units operating at altitudes higher 
than 2,000 feet were the only approved 
users of fuel for space heating, but even 
they were restricted to periods when the 
temperatures fell below 50° Fahrenheit. 
To preserve its limited stocks. Fifth 
Army issued coal only when wood was 
not available. Under no circumstances 
was coal to be used for cooking and even 
in hospitals it was not available for heat- 
ing the quarters of medical personnel. ^^ 
Early in the fall of 1944, shortly after 
Fifth Army headquarters moved into 
Florence, Sullivan initiated action to as- 
sure an adequate supply of coal for the 
second winter campaign. He estimated 
that Fifth Army would need 600 tons 
monthly during October and November 
and twice that amount in December 
1944 and January 1945. Because troops 
were deployed in the Apennines, Gen- 
eral Sullivan requested authorization to 
issue coal on the basis of five pounds 
per man per day to units occupying 
buildings heated by furnaces, and two 
pounds per man per day to units using 
stoves or fireplaces. Higher headquar- 
ters did not concur in these calculations 
and replied with an authorization of 
one-half pound per man per day. This 
figure provoked such a spirited debate 
between General Sullivan and General 



^ (1) Hist QM PBS, p. 128. (2) Poore Journal, 
Jan 43. (3) Bykofsky and Larson, The Transpor- 
tation Corps: Operations Overseas, p. 217. 

==« Memo, Class III Off, OQM Fifth Army, for All 
Class III Installations, 18 Nov 43. Sullivan Papers. 



^ (1) Memo, Sullivan for Painter, 29 Jan 44; 
Memo, Painter for Sullivan, 1 Feb 44. Both in 
Sullivan Papers. (2) SOP for Class III Installations, 
OQM Fifth Army [summer 1944]. Hist Br OQMG. 



LIQUID AND SOLID FUELS 



169 



Ramsey, now quartermaster of 
MTOUSA, that the latter requested 
Sullivan to "please write me a nice letter 
apologizing for all the mean thoughts 
and words used in the recent conversa- 
tion." A compromise was reached. By 
the end of November 1944 Ramsey and 
Sullivan revised the basis of issue retain- 
ing the allowance of five pounds of coal 
per patient per day for hospitals, while 
accepting the half-pound per man per 
day for other types of space heating. 
Contingent on the absence or unsuita- 
bility of other solid fuels, coal allow- 
ances were approved for such miscella- 
neous uses as laundry and bath installa- 
tions, cooking, water-heating, and black- 
smiths' forges. ^- 

Because Peninsular Base Section fur- 
nished only 800 tons of coal during the 
latter part of 1944, the Fifth Army con- 
tinued to make local purchases for the 
larger part of its requirements. The 
base section quartermaster encouraged 
all the technical services to search for 
solid fuels in isolated storage dumps, at 
factories, and in the vicinity of any in- 
dustrial activity, and to relay pertinent 
information to the quartermaster as to 
the ^vhereabouts of fuel. In turn, Sul- 
livan requested military government of- 
ficials to release the amounts of fuel re- 
quired by Fifth Army. He regulated 
its distribution to combat zone units 
whether the stocks were ^vithin the juris- 
dictional boundaries of the aimy or base 
section. 

Lignite, or brown coal, was obtained 



in sizable quantities from the Italian 
owners of a mine south of Florence. 
Wood, cut originally for the Germans, 
was found in plentiful quantities in a 
forest about five miles north of Pisa, 
and additional cuttings were made as 
needed. Because the carbon content 
of lignite and wood was less than that 
of high-grade coal, and their volatility 
was considerably higher, they had to be 
issued in quantities double that of coal. 
Notwithstanding this disadvantage, by 
March 1945, lignite and wood consti- 
tuted more than 90 percent of the solid 
fuels handled by Fifth Army.^^ 

Unlike Italy, France had ample coal 
resources, but only lignite was available 
in the original Dragoon lodgment area. 
As 6th Army (iroup pushed rapidly 
northward, locomotive-grade fuel to keep 
the railway lines operating became a 
major problem. A preliminary Trans- 
portation Corps survey in mid-Septem- 
ber reported 2,500 tons in the Marseille 
area, 13,000 tons near Lyon, and more 
than 7,000 tons near Grenoble. Al- 
though this meager reserve included 
fuels not suited for locomotives, it had 
to suffice until rail lines and coal mines, 
especially the upper Loire basin south- 
west of Lyon, could be rehabilitated. 
Stocks dwindled to an eight-day supply 
in November, and the British War Office 
agreed to make 25,000 tons available 
for import through Marseille. But dur- 
ing the same month the southern mines 
reached 70 percent of peacetime produc- 
tion, largely through the use of prisoner 



^^ (1) Quoted in QM Supply in Fifth Army, p. 67. 
(2) Rad 2005, CG Fifth Army to CG PBS. 25 Sep 
44: Rad 6534, G-4 Fifth Army to CG NATOUSA, 
31 Oct 44; Admin Instr 85, II, Hq Fifth Army, 30 
Nov 44, sub: Fuel for Heating. All in Sullivan 
Papers. 



^ (1) Sullivan MS, pp. 133-34, 159-60. (2) Class 
III Jnl, 11 Oct 44, OQM Fifth Army; Ltr, QM 
Fifth Army to CG Fifth Army, 2 Mar 45, sub: QM 
Rpt for Week Ending 2 Mar 45; Ltr, CO 204th 
QM Bn (M) to QM Fifth Army, 2 Apr 45, sub: 
Rpt for 15-31 Mar 45. All in Sullivan Papers. 



170 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



of war labor. By the end of the month 
the vital Tarascon-Beaucaire bridge over 
the Rhone had been repaired and a coal 
supply for the Rhone line of rail com- 
munications was assured. 

Solid fuels allocated for use of the 
troops reflected the same conditions. 
Late in September, local French officials 
in Dijon grudgingly allotted 750 tons 
per month to GONAD for Seventh Army 
and French Army B. GONAD actually 
received 917 tons of coal in October, 
1,900 tons in November, and 12,000 tons 
in December. Even the last figure only 
amounted to approximately 1.25 pounds 
per man per day, a very low figure for 
winter combat in the Vosges highlands. 
Beginning in November, all solid fuel 
allocations were co-ordinated through 
SHAEF and paid for by the French 
under the reciprocal aid agreement.^* 

As a school of experience for subse- 
quent operations, POL supply in the 
Mediterranean theater provided a variety 
of valuable lessons. Probably the most 
valuable of all concerned the supreme 
utility of the jerrican, and the possibility 
of effecting notable economies in per- 
sonnel and equipment through its use. 
The British Eighth Army should be 
credited with this innovation, which 



^ (1) GONAD History, I, 99; II, 517-638. (2) 
Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, II, 209—14. (3) 
Pounds per man per day computed by the author 
from strength figures in GONAD History, II, 623. 
(4) For further information on solid fuels in 
France, see Chapter XVIII, below. 



antedated the Torch landings, but the 
Americans developed various corollary 
procedures, notably a system of filling 
jerricans speedily by the use of powered 
gasoline dispensers. Mediterranean quar- 
termasters learned a useful lesson regard- 
ing the standard 750-gallon tank truck 
used in the MTO. They judged this to 
be too small, and recommended that the 
2,000-gallon semitrailer of the Army Air 
Forces be adopted instead. That sug- 
gestion was never adopted in their own 
theater, but large numbers of the bigger 
tankers were used in the ETO, where 
they proved very satisfactory. Since the 
Mediterranean theater was not a highly 
industrialized area and operations there 
were on a modest scale, there was little 
opportunity to requisition and exploit 
really large civilian POL installations. 
The few important facilities of that type 
had been thoroughly demolished by the 
Germans. Coal mines were of minor 
importance in the theater, and their 
operation was not a Quartermaster re- 
sponsibility. Experience with pipelines 
was also limited, especially in the for- 
ward areas. By the time that Peninsular 
Base Section began to operate a tactical 
pipeline for Fifth Army in the Po valley, 
similar operations on a much larger 
scale were already under way in the 
European theater. For logistical plan- 
ners, the most significant contribution 
of POL operations in the Mediterranean 
was the system of reporting gasoline con- 
sumption in terms of gallons per man 
per day. 



CHAPTER VII 



Outfitting the Mediterranean Troops 



Company commanders found in their 
basic training manuals the statement 
that "no man feels that he is in the 
Army until he puts on a uniform." ^ The 
requisition, storage, and issue of the imi- 
form was a field quartermaster responsi- 
bility no less important than furnishing 
daily foods and fuels to each man, and 
in some respects, largely because of the 
unknown life span of Class II or IV 
property, the mission was more com- 
plicated. While the different items of 
food numbered something less than 200, 
the list of Class II and IV Quartermaster 
articles ran into the tens of thousands. 
Along the shores of the Mediterranean 
most Class II and IV items, of simple 
design, of confirmed utility, and of 
steady replacement factors, such as web 
belts, wooden tent pins, pick mattocks, 
motorcycle helmets, canteen covers, and 
canvas folding cots, to mention just a 
few, presented no major supply prob- 
lems. On the other hand quarter- 
masters in North Africa, often assisted 
by observers or liaison teams fresh from 
home with new concepts of supply or 
salesman's kits full of experimental 
items, found that much of their time 
went into studying the inadequacies of 
clothing articles or other items under 
varying conditions of battle, or terrain, 
or weather. Because many items were 



^ TM 12-250, Administration, lo October 1942. 



assembled to form a standard uniform, 
simultaneously worn by tens of thou- 
sands of soldiers, it was plain that in- 
adequacies of clothing design would be 
considered far more serious by tacticians 
or technicians than those of the type- 
writer or the two-burner stove. Never- 
theless, inadequacies are always relative, 
and quartermasters in the field were 
primarily concerned with shortages of 
clothing, rather than with its faults. 

In time of war the degree of an in- 
adequacy is always open to question, 
and many factors, notably those of time 
and space, play an important role in 
determining how serious the inadequacy 
may be. Because he is part of the chain 
between the national base and the front, 
the pipeline quartermaster, who detects 
and reports inadequacies to those at 
home who are in turn responsible for 
innovation, correction, and production 
of an item, can easily project himself 
into a controversy over this question. 
Unwittingly, his favorable or imfavor- 
able reporting may complicate his pri- 
mary mission of filling a depot system 
and avoiding shortages at a time when 
the spigot quartermaster must open his 
end of the supply line. Consequently, 
field quartermasters can always trace 
their deepest problems and greatest wor- 
ries to difficulties associated with short- 
ages, not inadequacies. 



172 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS. 



North African Testing Ground 

As in the supply of rations, the par- 
ticular location of the wearer of a uni- 
form was an important factor to the 
quartermaster who hoped to institute 
and sustain an efficient and economical 
system of clothing supply. It did not 
matter that the soldier in support com- 
mands was closer to the scene of fight- 
ing than he was to the United States; he 
dressed more like his service brother at 
home than he did like the soldier in 
combat. With peace restored across 
Morocco and Algeria, officers and en- 
listed men wore service uniforms during 
office hours, on pass, or at formal cere- 
monies. At work in base sections, the 
out-of-doors uniform consisted of olive 
drab woolens, leggings, and high, russet 
service shoes. When, around mid-April, 
the weather became warm, the soldier 
dipped into his two well-stocked barracks 
bags to change into cotton khaki shirt 
and trousers. 

In Tunisia the combat soldier, care- 
fully selecting his favorites from a host 
of articles, wore only the bare essentials. 
His basic uniform was either the armored 
force winter combat suit, a two-piece 
combination of overall-type trouser and 
a tight-fitting jacket, both made of water- 
proof cotton lined with wool, or the 
olive drab wool trousers and shirt, plus 
the olive drab 1941 field jacket - and the 
wool overcoat with roll collar. If warm 
weather persisted, he donned the two- 



'^ Commonly called the Parsons jacket after Maj. 
Gen. James K. Parsons, Commanding General, 
Third Corps Area, who recommended such a gar- 
ment in June 1940. Erna Risch and Thomas M. 
Pitkin, Clothing the Soldier of World War II, QMC 
Historical Studies, 16 (Washington, 1946), pp. 
40-41. 



piece herringbone twill (HBT) fatigue 
suit. 

To enable the soldier to dress in his 
favorite service or combat uniform, 
quartermasters at Glasgow or Hampton 
Roads before the Torch landings had 
issued each man two drawstring bags 
each containing approximately forty sep- 
arate items. The eighty-piece load had 
been set by the War Department's 
Tables of Allowances of June 1942. Im- 
mediately upon landing in North Africa, 
the troops divested themselves of such 
generous allowances, and in the wake of 
their decision quartermasters acquired 
many new depot and salvage jobs. First, 
the soldier turned back his impregnated 
clothing. Second, he discarded one or 
two of the three pairs of service shoes 
which added weight to his hand baggage. 
Finally, he was tempted to barter some 
of his superfluous clothing for native 
souvenirs or services.^ In the end, the 
man stripped down to what his back- 
bone could bear and to his favorite and 
comfortable articles, clinging to each of 
them even though they might not last 
through the next battle. 

Though aware of this situation, pipe- 
line quartermasters were unable to chal- 
lenge the policy of issuing ultragenerous 
amounts of clothing. Yet they recog- 
nized that it was a wasteful policy that 
aggravated depot and salvage problems. 

As they saw it, it was a mistake for 
the ports of embarkation to issue at one 
time full allowances of clothing, both 
winter and summer, for combat and 
noncombat purposes.* From the be- 



^ Pounder Rpt, p. 39. 

* The search for storage space to house excess 
baggage, lost personal effects, and salvage distracted 
quartermasters from their wholesale support mis- 
sion in Oran and Casablanca. Poore Journal, 
December and January 1943. Poore Papers. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



173 



ginning of Torch, the twin barracks 
bags constituted the heart of the prob- 
lem. If the soldier's second bag was not 
lost, diverted, or delayed en route 
overseas, quartermasters knew of other 
threats to the contents. While on the 
way to or deployed at the front a man 
was divorced from his heavy denim bag, 
which might lie in a native shack or 
dump far to the rear under guard. Fre- 
quently, these makeshift depositories 
afforded no protection against vermin, 
rain, mud, or wind, and by the time be- 
longings were recovered they had de- 
teriorated beyond reclamation. The 
shortage of means of transportation com- 
plicated hopes of recovery. One ob- 
server contended that when imits got a 
hundred miles away the soldier had 
little hope of ever again seeing his 
items of initial issue.^ For these reasons 
quartermasters favored curtailing the 
issuance of clothing at ports of embarka- 
tion, limiting the soldier to articles he 
needed for his overseas trip and a short 
time thereafter. All other stocks, quarter- 
masters believed, should be shipped in 
their original cartons and distributed in 
accordance with short-run tactical and 
climatic requirements.*^ 

The quantity of issues was not the 
only clothing problem. After the II 
Corps entered Tunisia in January 1943 
quartermasters began to receive com- 
plaints about the quality of clothing. 
That a desert was a sandy, dry plain, 
always punished by hot breezes, proved 
fictional in North Africa, which had 
been previously described by a German 
logistician as a "tactician's paradise and 
a Quartermaster's hell." As the weather 
turned cold and the winds rose, each 




Parsons Jacket, worn by Ordnance 
officers in France, December 1944. 



day and each night severely tested the 
soldier's uniform and his equipment, and 
quartermasters heard repeated calls for 
improvements.^ Because of its weight 



Frink Rpt. 
' Pounder Rpt, p. 40. 



^ In co-ordinating technical information on cloth- 
ing and equipment in Torch and in Tunisia, quar- 
termasters exchanged a series of informal, personal 
letters with OQMG and OCQM SOS ETOUSA. 
Seemingly, there was no time to prepare formal 
staff studies. The Pounder Report of early 1943 
consisted mainly of a series of observers' reports, 
and though Captain Pounder relayed some impor- 
tant recommendations to OQMG, his views were 
not widely disseminated. The Frink Report of late 
spring 1943, reflecting Tunisian experience, con- 
stituted a more formal co-ordination of technical 
data. A few papers consisted of completed staff 
studies. The staff studies and other items— what 
few there are— that theater and bureau quarter- 
masters prepared in the effort to co-ordinate tech- 
nical data at this early date are in the Littlejohn 
Reading File or in OQMG MED 319.25, Cases 
23550-23555- 



174 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



and clumsiness, the overcoat became an 
early battle casualty. The wool serge 
coat, essentially a parade ground gar- 
ment after the development of the Par- 
sons 1941 field jacket, proved unpopular 
since it gave no freedom of movement. 
Moreover it required frequent dry clean- 
ing, an impossible service in a primitive 
area. So stocks of coats grew on depot 
shelves, or rested at the bottom of a bar- 
racks bag, and were quietly forgotten. 
Soldiers had long second thoughts about 
the coat's field replacement, the zippered 
olive drab field jacket. They complained 
that it was not sufficiently windproof or 
warm, that the zipper broke, that the 
jacket's cuffs, pocket seams, and collar 
frayed and soiled quickly, creating an 
untidy appearance. When washed, it 
faded and shrank. For combat purposes, 
it was too long to be a vest, too short to 
be a blouse. At the waist the soldier 
constantly tugged to keep the jacket from 
riding above and over his web belt, a 
lifeline to his canteen, first aid pouch, 
and cartridges. If the belt was held 
up by suspenders across the chest, the 
jacket's slash pockets were inaccessible. 

Quartermasters noted various faults in 
the uniform. With their pockets filled, 
the olive drab trousers tightened in the 
seat or crotch, impairing a man's mo- 
bility. Quartermasters observed the 
American soldier's preference for the 
British battle dress as an answer to prob- 
lems of mobility, protection, and neat 
appearance. Service shoes encountered 
extreme conditions of wet and cold 
weather in North Africa, and the leather 
sole soon proved unsuitable on the wear- 
ing march over abrasive soils. Soldiers 
universally condemned their canvas, 
shoe-string leggings, which, when wet, 
never seemed to dry, and when dry. 



were always a size shorter. With metal 
hooks and eyes, leggings were difficult 
to lace in an emergency. Frequently 
laces broke, rendering leggings worth- 
less. Wool socks, soldiers noted, should 
be heavier. 

Finding convenient, comfortable, and 
sturdy clothing for nurses in the field 
^vas another problem.^ Nurses arrived 
in North Africa with service uniforms 
and quickly demanded clothing as func- 
tional as the soldier's. They also wanted 
clothing in quantities that would permit 
frequent changes. But male planners 
had prepared the Tables of Allowances 
of the Army Nurse Corps. They 
thought of women's dress in terms of 
skirts and Cuban heels for overseas duty; 
the nurses wanted slacks or coveralls, 
service shoes, and wool anklets — clothing 
designed for work under canvas, in am- 
bulances, on evacuation planes, and in 
jeeps, not in station hospital wards. 
Nurses could not buy these things lo- 
cally, and Quartermaster sales stores 
were nonexistent until after the Tunis- 
ian campaign. Nurses accordingly wore 
men's clothing taken from stocks of 
small sizes. In this attire they were of- 
ten ridiculed. On 17 June 1943 the War 
Department announced a special T/E 
21 for nurses, listing a number of new 
field items with a size tariff to fit women. 

Quartermasters also received recom- 
mendations for improvements in per- 



^ (1) Nurses considered the combination of steel 
helmet and liner as satisfactory. The helmet's 
shape offered increased protection. One nurse 
found twenty-one other uses for the helmet includ- 
ing service as a basket, seat, washbowl, cookstove, 
water bucket, and shovel. Pounder Rpt. (2) T/E 
21, C— 1, 17 Jun 43. (3) After Salerno, NATOUSA 
authorized the special allowances of field and arctic 
clothing to nurses. Cir 43, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 21 
Sep 43, and Cir 2, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 6 Jan 44. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



175 



sonal and organizational equipment.^ 
White handkerchiefs, towels, and under- 
garments violated camouflage security. 
The dyeing of white materials had been 
discussed in 1917 and 1939, but nothing 
had been done about it. Soldiers soaked 
telltale white items in coffee grounds. 
Many other items posed difficult prob- 
lems. Gloves provided no protection 
against blisters. And there were no wire 
cutters. Although seldom separated from 
their intrenching tool, especially if it had 
a hickory handle, Americans were quick 
to point out the advantages of a product 
of German ingenuity, a digging tool de- 
signed to serve as a pick as well as a 
shovel. They considered mess utensils 
an annoying companion on the march 
and an alarm bell on patrol. To elimi- 
nate rattles and clangs, soldiers sought 
a more compact meat can in which 
knife, fork, and spoon could be firmly 
anchored. They also believed that their 
mess kits needed a better metallic coating 
than galvanized zinc, which would not 
withstand heat over an open flame. A 
deeper can w^ould allow one man to cook 
for several others. During nontactical 
marches soldiers found it practically im- 
possible to shoulder the drawstring bar- 
racks bag, which when stuffed resembled 
a puffy medicine ball, because its rope 
cut into a man's skin.^° To eliminate 



" (1) Pounder Rpt, pp. 2^ii. (2) Lecture, Maj A. 
Cushman, 15 Apr 43, QM Items on North African 
Front; Memos, Burnhome for Cowles, Chief Phig 
Br OQMG, 29 Mar 43, 6 May 43; Memo, ist Lt 
H. E. Sommer for CG Jeffersonville QM Depot, 
6 Mar 43, sub: Intervs at Fort Knox. All in OQMG 
MED 319.25. (3) Ltr, Middleswart to Gregory, 14 
May 43. Hist Br OQMG. 

'"OCQM SOS ETOUSA had asked OQMG in 
November 1942 to redesign the bag along the lines 
of a U.S. Marine Corps canvas carrier and a sample 
was sent to Washington. Memo, Littlejohn for 
Cound, 6 Mar 43. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. X, 
item 19. 



the necessity of dragging or rolling the 
bag, soldiers requested an improved car- 
rier, made of sturdy canvas, complete 
with straps and handles, which they could 
easily balance on their shoulders. 

Throughout North Africa by far the 
most prized clothing allowance was the 
wind-resistant, water-repellent armored 
force winter combat uniform. Lined 
with wool and providing a smooth ex- 
terior facing, particularly appropriate 
for crawling in and out of turrets of 
armored vehicles, it could be worn over 
woolen underwear, wool trousers and 
shirt, or a herringbone twill outfit as 
the weather demanded. Indeed, the 
popularity of this suit was not confined 
to Americans; the large number of Ger- 
mans captured wearing this ensemble 
offered mute testimony that enemy sol- 
diers also considered it a highly desir- 
able piece of equipment. The first Quar- 
termaster observers, who were sent out 
from Washington between March and 
May 43, received many demands from 
II Corps units for wider distribution of 
the armored force combat uniform. 

Far from Tunisia, the Quartermaster 
Corps had its own plans for meeting the 
criticism of existing clothing.^^ Since 
the fall of 1942, the Office of The Quar- 
termaster General had considered the 
development of a single combat uniform 
for all combat arms and services. This 
ensemble would be so designed that it 
would suit all the varieties of climate 
and terrain in the several theaters of 
war. It would be worn over wool un- 
derwear and woolen clothing in the 
winter, or alone in the summer, and was 



" (i) Pounder Rpt. (2) Frink Rpt. (3) Risch and 
Pitkin, Clothing the Soldier of World War II, pp. 
48fF. (4) Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organi- 
zatioti, Supply, and Services, I, 88-97. 



176 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



intended to make the specialized ar- 
mored force and parachutist uniforms 
obsolete. But this was more than a sim- 
plification program. The principle of 
"layering," gradually adopted by arctic 
explorers as a basic improvement upon 
the fur clothing of the natives, inspired 
the development of a uniform intended 
for the entire temperate zone at all sea- 
sons of the year. Basically, the layering 
principle relied upon the use of loosely 
woven woolens, covered by light but 
tightly woven windproof cotton gar- 
ments capable of protecting the enclosed 
warm air from wind erosion. For the 
outer shell of field trousers and combat 
jacket, the material used was water-re- 
sistant 9-ounce sateen.^- On 20 Febru- 
ary 1943, the QM Research and Develop- 
ment Division prepared to circulate this 
newly developed combat uniform and 
several related items of equipment 
among various technical boards of the 
War Department's arms and services. 
This procedure was preliminary to com- 
mand acceptance of the project. While 
awaiting the results of staff reports, the 
OQMG sent a similar kit of items, des- 
ignated experimental items, M1943, to 
North Africa. 

When the OQMG observer. Lieuten- 
ant Pounder, arrived in Africa in the 
spring of 1943, he brought with him an 
exhibit, including a preliminary version 
of the two-piece green sateen combat 
suit, a trench coat with removable lin- 
ing, a high-top combat boot with uppers 
of reversed, flesh-out leather, a similar 



combat shoe, a blanket-type sleeping bag 
with water-repellent cover, a combina- 
tion poncho and shelter half, collapsible 
canteens, cushion sole socks, wool gloves 
with leather palms, and a jungle pack 
with waterproof liner." Having demon- 
strated the experimental Mi 943 items to 
a group of AFHQ officers in Algiers, 
Pounder displayed and modeled the 
items in Tunisia although they were not 
subjected to anything resembling a field 
test. Nevertheless, Pounder received fa- 
vorable reports on most of these articles, 
and in his numerous letters to the 
OQMG he encouraged further research 
and development of all Mi 943 items. 

When fighting ended in Tunisia, 
several other steps had been taken on 
paper to improve the inadequacies of 
the 1942 clothing. A new type of table 
for QM clothing and individual equip- 
ment, T/E 21, appeared on 10 March 
^943-^* Because of the late start in re- 
search and development, and because of 
the time lag in the various phases of 
standardization, in the acceptance of 
items under either the discretionary or 
mandatory columns of T/E's, and in 
production and delivery of new clothing 
and equipment, more than a year (July 
1943-October 1944) would pass before 
base quartermasters had enough Mi 943 
items to begin issuing them to unit 
quartermasters. 

On Torch's first anniversary only a 



'^ In the technical vocabulary of textile engineer- 
ing, water-resistance is an inherent characteristic of 
certain closely woven materials, while luater-repell- 
ency is imparted by dipping in chemical com- 
pounds. See Risch and Pitkin, Clothing the Soldier 
of World War II, p. 92. 



"^ Ltrs, Pounder to Cowles, Mar-Apr 43. OQMG 
MED 319.25. 

'* In T/E 21, Clothing and Individual Equipment, 
10 March 1943, arctic, temperate, and tropical 
issues were shown for the first time as columns in 
a single table. Also, for the first time special items 
for parachutists, mountain units, and engineer am- 
phibian units were gathered together in compre- 
hensive lists. There were separate sections for 
nurses, WAAC officers, and enlisted Waacs. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



177 



few frugal soldiers could boast of having 
clung to some favorite items of their 
initial overseas issue. On Sardinia one 
air force service imit reported that it 
could fall out for roll call in most of its 
original clothing, but if the commander 
insisted that the men should dress simi- 
larly, each man had only one common 
outfit-nature's. In reporting this situa- 
tion, an OQMG observer foimd one im- 
complaining airman who might be con- 
sidered a supply sergeant's dream. By 
November 1943 this soldier was wearing 
the last suit of the three initial sets of 
fatigue clothing. It was worn thin and 
ripped out at the seat. The soldier still 
had his first overcoat, but no woolen 
imderwear, no woolen socks, and no 
blouse. He had a pair of olive drab 
woolen trousers, two wool shirts, and 
three blankets. He had no cot, no 
mattress. To point up the man's plight, 
the observer wrote: "He is the type of 
soldier who doesn't forage for himself 
and doesn't have a hard-working ser- 
geant to look after him." ^^ 

Mediterranean Laboratory on 
Replacement Factors 

At the same time that it shed light on 
the usefulness of Class II and IV items, 
the Mediterranean campaign offered 
quartermasters the opportunity to study 
the distribution and durability of these 
supplies imder combat conditions. Even 
in the contrived battlefield situations of 
the prewar Louisiana, North Carolina, 
or Tennessee maneuvers, quartermasters 
had found it impossible to simulate the 



losses that would be suffered from enemy 
counterattacks, from bombing by enemy 
aircraft, or from depletion of stock by 
pilferage. One of the earliest commis- 
sions Middleswart carried overseas was 
the reminder to start immediately as- 
sembling data on replacement factors." ^® 
This information was essential to the 
success of a logistical system, for the 
amoimt of supplies, especially of non- 
expendable items, to be stockpiled in 
North African bases was governed as 
much by the estimated rate of consump- 
tion and replacement as by the initial 
requirements before a particular opera- 
tion got imder way. 

Middleswart's own struggle with re- 
placement rates began in January 1943 
when he was Quartermaster, Atlantic 
Base Section. 1^ By that time what had 
happened to most of the Torch sur- 
pluses could no longer be traced. In 
gathering statistics Middleswart was also 
handicapped by the constant turnover 
of troops in Morocco. The II Corps was 
redeploying toward southern Timisia, 
and all base sections were supporting 
the move. The authors of strategy at 
Casablanca also upset efforts to establish 
replacement factors since they called 
for additional troops — a reborn French 
Army — in the Mediterranean area. 

Late in February 1943 Middle- 
swart became Quartermaster, SOS 
NATOUSA, and with more authority 
and opportunity in this centralized 



>« Quoted in Ltr, Col David B. Dill, OQM 
Twelfth Air Force, to Doriot, 19 Nov 43. OQMG 
MED 319.25. 



"Ltr, Middleswart to Tate, G-4 ABS, 26 Feb 43. 
I'oore Papers. 

" (1) Poo re Papers. (2) The Pounder Report 
contains the first systematic collection of Class II 
and IV replacement rates. (3) For the evolution of 
the method of determining replacement rates, see 
Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, 
Supply, and Services, vol. I, ch. VI. 



178 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



agency, he forwarded a few replacement 
factors which he considered in line with 
his actual consumption rates to the War 
Department, NYPE, and SOS ETOUSA. 
The first comprehensive reappraisal of 
factors was based on records of the ist 
Infantry Division, the ist Armored Divi- 
sion, and Eastern Base Section in mid- 
April 1943. It came none too soon. 
The Quartermaster Section required the 
data as a basis for additional requisi- 
tions on NYPE. Without such revised 
factors, the port commander could not 
properly process Class II and IV requisi- 
tions for the two new field armies, the 
Fifth and Seventh, which had recently 
been activated in North Africa, nor for 
a growing number of Allied troops, 
prisoners of war, and dependent civilian 
groups. Moreover, without revised 
factors to compare with its own, the 
OQMG and its administrative superior, 
ASF, ran the risk of erroneous calcula- 
tions for both long-range and short- 
range procurement plans. 

Middleswart and the OQMG used the 
same formulas to derive a replacement 
factor, which is merely the measure used 
to express the life span of an item. For 
example, let us say that the OQMG had 
found a field jacket lasted a year. An- 
nual replacement, then, was 100 percent, 
and the monthly replacement rate was 
83.3 jackets per thousand, 8.33 percent, 
or a factor of .833. The annual percent- 
age of replacement was reached by 
dividing the total quantity of an item 
replaced in a year by the number of that 
item in the initial issue. If a man re- 
ceived two flannel shirts initially and 
within a year drew three more, his an- 
nual replacement rate was 1.5, or 150 
percent. But for large numbers of men, 
varying initial issues were an additional 



complication. In some units men were 
issued khaki shirts or herringbone twill 
jackets instead of flannel shirts, so the 
actual average initial issue for 1,000 men 
was about 1,800 flannel shirts. As an 
illustration of the importance of accu- 
racy in such factors, if Middleswart 
assumed that the replacement factor of 
an item was 50 per 1,000 men for 30 
days, whereas the actual average rate was 
100, production and distribution of that 
item would meet only half the prevail- 
ing demand, and a supply crisis in that 
item would be reached before many 
months. 

Immediately after the Sicilian cam- 
paign, Middleswart and his able pupil, 
Colonel Poore, assembled data on com- 
bat maintenance in Seventh Army.^* In 
beginning work, Poore's efforts were 
hindered by the absence of men ex- 
perienced in statistical procedures, by 
the loose depot system, and by a fluid 
tactical situation that interfered with 
accurate record keeping. Another com- 
plication was that stocks intended orig- 
inally as replacement supplies were often 
distributed as initial issues to units ar- 
riving in North Africa without their 
authorized equipment, forming into pro- 
visional units, re-forming under Tables 
of Organization and Equipment recently 
changed by the War Department, or 
regrouping and refitting in staging areas. 
Still another complication, Poore found, 
was careless record keeping throughout 



^^ (1) Sidney H. Karasik and Robert Stott, "QM 
Replacements in the N. A. Theater," QMR, XXIV 
(November-December 1944), 26—27. (2) Ltr, Sharp, 
QM MBS, to Littlejohn, 23 May 43, sub: Maint 
Factors Class II and IV Supplies. Hist Br OQMG. 
(3) Ltr, ODQM 1st Inf Div to DQM, 3 Jun 43, 
sub: Proc and Issue Class II and IV During Tunis- 
ian Campaign. Frink Rpt. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



179 



North Africa, caused by the much abused 
assumption that there was no policy of 
property accountability in an overseas 
theater. Middleswart speedily corrected 
this misconception, which was based on 
a careless reading of Army regulations 
that applied only to tactical units during 
combat. 

In reviewing records of the ist Infan- 
try Division's experience in Tunisia, 
Middleswart found an illustration of the 
difficulties in gathering careful supply 
statistics. In the Maktar sector, the first 
delivery of maintenance stocks to the 
ist Division contained many items that 
could not be used, and the II Corps ulti- 
mately received them back into stock. 
Records of the transaction, though un- 
doubtedly completed, were not available 
to the Quartermaster Section, SOS 
NATOUSA, and statistical computations 
ended. But ist Division records did 
show that field jackets and socks had 
been too numerous in large sizes, too 
few in small sizes. Generally speaking, 
existing stocks of clothing and equip- 
ment were too low, particularly in 
mid-February 1943, when one of the 
division's combat teams returned from 
operations with the British, and its 
requisitions created a sudden demand 
on the 1st Division quartermaster which 
he could not meet.^^ 

By 29 September 1943, Middleswart 
had completed a study entitled Seventh 
Army Rates of Consumption, Quarter- 
master Items, Sicilian Campaign, D Day 
(12 July) to D plus 60 (10 September 
1943) •"" It ^V3S based on the records of 

'" (i) Ltr cited n. 18 (3). (2) McNamara's Memoir 
explains clearly that he had no tonnage allocation 
for Class II or IV Supply. See ch. Ill, above. 

^ Mimeo Incl to Ltr, Middleswart to Gregory 
(info copy to CQM ETO), 3 Oct 43. Hist Br 
OQMG. 



the Seventh Army quartermaster, who 
reminded Middleswart of the difficulties 
of keeping such records in the midst of 
amphibious and flanking operations. 
Because records of supplies moving over 
beaches and docks were poorly kept, and 
maintenance equipment was frequently 
issued without tallies or receipts, it was 
almost impossible to estimate inventories 
at the end of the sixty-day period. Nev- 
ertheless, Middleswart assembled data 
capable of furnishing a sketchy basis for 
estimating his Sicilian factors from such 
sources as the shortage reports submitted 
by each organization, fragmentary tallies 
of dumps or depot issues, known losses 
by enemy action, and a variety of con- 
sumption records which he considered 
fairly representative of the experience 
of combat and service organizations. 
Armed with this information, he turned 
to collecting strength figures of Seventh 
Army, breaking its total strength down 
into fifteen-day periods and into four 
major categories of troops. In order to 
evaluate requirements more accurately, 
in view of the great difference in the 
rate of use of Quartermaster supplies by 
troops on various types of duty, he re- 
stricted his study to service troops either 
in support areas or in the combat zone, 
and to combat troops either in reserve 
in rear areas, or fighting at the front. 
Manifestly, this approach represented a 
degree of refinement that contrasted 
markedly with the OQMG's conven- 
tional March 1943 factors, which treated 
a theater of operations as an entity. 

Middleswart's report showed that the 
most pronounced attrition appeared in 
the combat zone among combat troops. 
It was no surprise that support troops 
accompanying the task forces suffered 
the second greatest supply shortages. 



180 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Among the specific items which required 
a higher replacement factor than those 
of the OQMG i March 1943 tables were 
clothing, intrenching tools, cleaning sup- 
plies, field desks, barber kits, field 
ranges, BAR magazine belts, flatirons, 
and flags. Under combat conditions 
clothing losses soared, largely because it 
was impossible to maintain adequate re- 
pair and laundry facilities to check the 
wear and tear of an item of clothing. 
Apart from losses through carelessness, 
waste, and enemy action, there were 
other causes for higher replacement 
rates. The constant splitting and re- 
grouping of formations brought calls 
for additional flags, which were useful 
for identifying headquarters or assembly 
points. With filth and dirt encountered 
at every native house or building used 
by the troops as billets, headquarters, 
or warehouses, mops, brooms, brushes, 
and soap were expended at a tremen- 
dous rate. All organizational equip- 
ment, since it was necessarily scattered 
throughout many splinter groupings, had 
to be handled as many as fifteen differ- 
ent times. In the process field desks and 
ranges suffered a high rate of breakage 
and loss. 

Middleswart was careful to point out 
that Seventh Army had been obliged to 
make substantial initial issues to organi- 
zations during combat. To meet cam- 
paign conditions, provisional battalions, 
each with a strength of 1,100 men, staging 
areas capable of processing 40,000 troops 
and many air transport headquarters had 
been activated. In addition organiza- 
tional equipment had been issued to 
units which were split up to operate in 
a manner never intended by War De- 
partment tables. For example, bakery 
companies operated by sections in sev- 



eral locations. Quartermaster service 
companies split up and functioned at 
separate railheads. Depot companies 
ran dumps by segregated platoons or 
sections, and hospital units handled 
field trains or temporary installations by 
operating in small detachments. The 
situation created shortages of organiza- 
tional items, and initial issues necessarily 
depleted maintenance stocks. In his re- 
port, Middleswart explained that it was 
impossible to correlate these factors, for 
he had no data showing the extent to 
which initial issue had been taken from 
maintenance stocks. 

At the same time that Middleswart 
and Poore had projected their Sicilian 
study, the War Department, prompted 
by the OQMG, was eager to test the va- 
lidity of its own theories for forecasting 
production requirements in the United 
States.-^ As early as 21 June 1943, the 
War Department had asked SOS NATO- 
USA to prepare monthly materiel status 
reports, basically involving depot in- 
ventories, as a basis for determining 
OQMG maintenance factors.- Set forth 
in Technical Manual 10-250, this meth- 
od of forecasting provided that zone of 
interior production should equal theater 
demands minus local depot inventories. 
To solve this simple equation, the War 
Department wanted Middleswart to sup- 
ply statistics on each of the following: 
initial issues, replacement rates in com- 
bat, and distribution data. As Middle- 
swart had already noted in his opera- 
tional studies, there were many variables 
among each of these three factors. He 



^^ Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, 
Supply, and Services, vol. I, ch. VI. 

=='Ltr, Secy War to CG NATOUSA, 24 Jun 43. 
Littlejohn Reading File, vol. XVI, item 78. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



181 



also knew that before any sound scien- 
tific basis could be laid for testing this 
method of forecasting requirements, 
considerable staff work would have to 
be done in the theater to collect, proc- 
ess, and record the proper data. During 
July and August, at a time when opera- 
tions had ceased in Tunisia but were 
still progressing on the islands, and when 
plans had been made to land on the 
Italian mainland, Middleswart attempted 
to cope with the War Department di- 
rective. 

Meanwhile, a team of Quartermaster 
officers from the OQMG, consisting of 
Lt. Col. George H. Cless, Maj. Ramon 
Wyer, and Capt. Richard T. Bentley, 
arrived in Oran on 13 August to study 
warehousing and stock control methods 
in base section depots and to secure, if 
possible, combat rates of consumption. 
Using TM 10-250 as a guide, the team 
reviewed the nomenclature of 6,500 
Quartermaster items in order to obtain 
a sound basis for theater-wide reporting. 
To simplify the work of depot quarter- 
masters, the team revised and simplified 
forms and for^varded them to base sec- 
tions so the preliminary paper work 
could begin. With this phase of the sur- 
vey under way Wyer took over the team 
from Cless in September and began to 
revamp Middleswart's report on the Si- 
cilian operation for formal presentation 
to the OQMG. Realizing that the Sev- 
enth Army's experience was sketchy, 
Wyer made arrangements to attach Capt. 
Bernard A. Courtney to the Fifth Army 
to develop replacement factors at the di- 
visional level, beginning with the D-day 
assault at Salerno on 9 September 1943. 
Courtney arrived at Fifth Army head- 
quarters on 14 October. 

The arrival of Wyer's team coincided 



with the dispatch of Middleswart's first 
monthly status report to the War De- 
partment at the end of August. This 
document reviewed NATOUSA expe- 
rience on 350 Quartermaster items since 
the end of March 1943. When asked if 
the report had been limited to replace- 
ment factors and initial issues to United 
States troops, Middleswart was unable to 
provide the answer because depot stock 
reports failed to make any distinction 
among issues to Allied forces, prisoners 
of war, and dependent civilian groups. ^^ 
To correct this situation SOS NATO- 
USA asked depots to keep separate re- 
ports on U.S. Army issues to Allied 
troops, the U.S. Navy, and other agen- 
cies.-* 

The limited scope of the 31 August re- 
port and the need for greater refine- 
ments made it imperative that Wyer's 
team visit all North African depots be- 
fore the next monthly report was com- 
piled." This became all the more im- 
portant when ASF announced on 30 Sep- 
tember that T/OScE replacement factors 
were for use only in the initial establish- 
ment of theater reserves and mainte- 
nance levels and that thereafter NATO- 
USA would requisition supplies on the 
basis of actual issue to troops. The 
teams discovered considerable careless- 
ness, insufficient training, a willingness 



^ As for consumption rates on rations, Middle- 
swart asked the OQMG experts to reconsider seri- 
ously the need for such reports since actual and 
projected strength returns, the only true basis for 
ration consumption, were accurately known at 
NYPE long before Middleswart knew of them. The 
topic soon disappeared from his correspondence. 

^Cir 19, Hq SOS NATOUSA, lo Jul 43. 

^^ (1) Wyer's reports attracted favorable attention 
from supply experts throughout the Army. (2) 
Ltr, Larkin to Somervell, 22 Dec 43, sub: Maint 
Factors (QM); Memo, Wyer for Middleswart, 4 Jan 
44. Both in OQMG MED 319.25. 



182 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



on the part of depot quartermasters to 
accept unknown, unintelligible, or non- 
standard nomenclature of items without 
investigation, and a widespread misun- 
derstanding of stock control principles. 
All these shortcomings increased the 
normal difficulties of keeping accurate 
records under complex conditions. 
Nevertheless the team's December 1943 
compilation was able to justify statistic- 
ally the QM NATOUSA request to the 
War Department for higher replacement 
factors. Middlesvvart knew that his fac- 
tors had been based on crude empirical 
observations. Now in accordance with 
the ASF policy of 30 September the 
Quartermaster Section's requisitions 
would be closely edited by NYPE. On 
22 December 1943, through NATOUSA, 
the Quartermaster Section asked the 
War Department for increases or de- 
creases of factors involving fifty-three 
major items. Twelve items of personal 
equipment called for a 200 to 300 per- 
cent increase of replacement allowances 
over those which ASF had listed in its 
first tables of September 1943.^" 

The QM NATOUSA monthly ma- 
teriel reports only reflected base depot 
shortages, not combat replacement ex- 
perience. So far only the summer opera- 
tions of Seventh Army had been recorded 
and there was no comparable report for 
a winter campaign. For it, eyes centered 
on the efforts of Captain Courtney in 
Italy.'^ From October 1943 until Janu- 
ary 1944 that officer attempted to secure 
combat replacement factors from Fifth 



™ Ltr cited n. 25 (2). 

" (i) Ltr, Wyer to OQMG, 7 Jan 44. OQMG 
MED 319.25, Case 2066. (2) Ltr, Wyer to OQM 
SOS NATOUSA, 5 Nov 43, sub: Fifth Army Maint 
Data; Ltr, Middleswart to Littlejohn, 13 Nov 43. 
Both in Hist Br OQMG. 



Army for units below corps level, but his 
first reports beginning in mid-October 
continued to be sketchy, notably on air 
force experience, since many units used 
unauthorized reserves built up through 
false requisitions and the robbing of 
dumps. Courtney's tables suggest that 
several divisions and their trains had 
entered Italy with large maintenance 
stocks. He understood that divisions 
kept their excesses apart from army's 
normal replacement issues. Courtney 
also ran into the same difficulty that 
Middleswart had encountered in the 
Seventh Army. The Fifth Army con- 
stantly resorted to splitting formations 
and the hasty activation of provisional 
units, making it extremely difficult to 
distinguish between initial issues and 
maintenance stocks. Confronted with a 
host of statistical problems, Courtney 
repeatedly called on Middleswart to send 
enough clerks to put one man at each 
division. Unable to secure the needed 
technicians from the United States, Mid- 
dleswart recalled Courtney to Oran on 
10 January 1944. 

Meanwhile Major Wyer, who had been 
assigned to Middleswart's staff as head 
of a new Control and Reports Branch, 
decided to retrace all of his staff studies 
since the preceding summer, revisit all 
base sections and depots, including the 
new one at Naples, and make a fresh 
start in Fifth Army. As a result the Jan- 
uary 1944 report on rates of consumption 
and on-hand stocks of Quartermaster 
supplies was a monumental document. 
For the logistician, it reflected the type 
of warfare being fought in the Mediter- 
ranean area.'* As Middleswart and Wyer 



^ Ltr, with 29 Incls, Middleswart to Gregory, 25 
Feb 44. OQMG MED 319.25, Case 14700. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



183 



studied Courtney's reports from Italy, 
covering the first thirty-seven days of the 
campaign, they concluded his figures 
were inaccurate, almost beyond calcula- 
tion.-** Courtney admitted that his con- 
clusions were broad and sweeping state- 
ments, that his figures merely reflected 
the availability of various items in the 
combat zone, and that his methods of 
assembling data, notably the interview 
method, were not being conducted 
according to Quartermaster manuals. 
Nevertheless, Middleswart acquired use- 
ful knowledge from these reports. He 
told NYPE and OQMG that NATO- 
USA's demands for blankets would be 
greater than experience in North Africa 
indicated, that existing army stocks of 
woolen socks were meeting only lo per- 
cent of Fifth Army's requirements, and 
that all divisions were demanding ar- 
mored force combat suits though they 
were unauthorized as a substitute for the 
1941 field jacket. Shelter half mainte- 
narice in combat was high because almost 
every soldier had two — the extra one 
made an excellent wrapper for blanket 
rolls as well as a moisture-resistant sheet 
between the ground and the blankets. 
Italy's rocky, mountainous terrain caused 
unusually high maintenance require- 
ments for woolen clothing, intrenching 
tools, blankets, and tentage. Courtney 
had predicted that the requirements 
would greatly exceed Tunisian experi- 
ence. 

Inevitably, base and combat zone 
quartermasters crossed swords on the 
validity of their own combat replacement 
factors. The first crisis developed when 



Peninsular Base Section arbitrarily re- 
duced quantities on Fifth Army's requi- 
sitions for the Shingle operation (Anzio 
beachhead), demanding additional justi- 
fication. Fifth Army contended that the 
War Department's over-all factors for an 
entire theater should not be applied to a 
specific tactical operation. Moreover, the 
special-project method by which the base 
section proposed to supply requirements 
in excess of prescribed replacement fac- 
tors "will not assure adequate and timely 
supply to Fifth Army." ^^ The Middle- 
swart-Sullivan exchanges coincided with 
the development of the same issue in 
COMZ ETO where it provoked con- 
siderable confusion and resulted in a 
lengthy controversy. Though unknown 
to Sullivan until mid-July, and only in- 
formally to Middleswart at the time, the 
War Department was using NATOUSA 
replacement tables as a guide in its 
debates with other theater quartermas- 
ters. This policy was without the con- 
sent of NATOUSA quartermasters, who 
were always careful to preface their 
reports with the statement that such 
replacement tables applied only to the 
Mediterranean theater. This practice 
was especially unfortunate since NATO- 
USA, where at one time five base sections 
acted in support of a single field army, 
did not represent a typical ratio of com- 
bat to service troops. Theater-wide issue 
statistics tended to minimize the impor- 



=* Ltrs cited n. ay. 



»> (1) Ltr, Clark to Pence, CG PBS, 22 Apr 44, 
sub: Requisition J-8-BULI^QM-II-i. Sullivan 
Papers. (2) WD Supply Bull 10-12, 11 Feb 44. (3) 
Tech Bull 10. OQM SOS NATOUSA. 24 Jun 44, 
sub: QM II and IV Repl Factors. OQMG MED 
3«9-25- 



184 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



tance of replacement experience within 
a single army.^^ 

In the early summer of 1944 after the 
battles along the Gustav Line and at 
Anzio, Middleswart and Sullivan each 
disagreed and continued to disagree with 
the statistical evidence compiled by the 
other. In full candor, both men ex- 
pressed their points of view. After 
Wyer's Control Branch had completed 
its full-dress survey of base section de- 
pots between January and May 1944, 
Middleswart felt his staff had acquired 
enough evidence to maintain that Sulli- 
van's compilations for a six-month period 
from November 1943 to April 1944 were 
neither acceptable nor complete.^- The 
heart of the matter was — what consti- 
tuted completeness? 

In Middleswart's opinion, the Sulli- 
van figures included data on initial is- 
sues, omitted supply reserves at Anzio, 
inflated all totals by including back or- 
ders on items, and failed to account ade- 
quately for returns to stock from salvage. 
To this criticism, Sullivan protested that 
he, too, had used Wyer's experts and 
methods to complete Fifth Army's set of 
factors. He was disturbed when Middle- 
swart's evidence, published as a theater 
circular, began to acquire a more official 
aspect. Sullivan was also alarmed when 
he compared the 24 June 1944 circular 
with War Department supply documents 



''As early as 18 March 1944 Middleswart learned 
from OQMG "that the limited QM Information 
which we have developed here without this badly 
needed personnel 'is being used to a large extent 
to determine replacement factors for all theaters.' " 
Memo, Middleswart for Lt Col Edward R. Comm, 
18 Mar 44. OQMG MED 319.25. 

'^ Hq Fifth Army, Quartermaster Class II and IV 
Maintenance Data— Fifth Army— Italian Campaign, 
for the Period November 1943 Through April 1944, 
Inclusive, 10 May 1944 (mimeographed). Hist Br 
OQMG. 



of February 1944. Sullivan's reaction 
suggests a fear that Wyer's original base 
depot statistics would return to the 
Mediterranean area carrying all the 
authority of the War Department. It 
was difficult for him to understand why 
so many people and machines had some- 
how overlooked Fifth Army's experi- 
ence. He believed that OQMG and 
War Department factors based on 
Wyer's reports had not given sufficient 
weight to Fifth Army's experience of in- 
creased maintenance for several impor- 
tant items. Sullivan wrote to Middle- 
swart: "We feel our combat experience 
is of sufficient importance to merit study 
by all concerned, and we know now, if 
stocks are not received based on our is- 
sue experience, in many cases we will be 
short and the combat efficiency of the 
troops will necessarily suffer." ^^ 

By October 1944, the Quartermaster 
Section, NATOUSA, had assembled 
more data to present to the War Depart- 
ment. The June 1944 tables were soon 
revised upward. Still the October revi- 
sions did not fully meet Sullivan's needs, 
and much like his brother quartermas- 
ters who at the moment were fighting in 
France, he continued to seek higher re- 
placement factors for Class II and IV 



^ (1) Ltr, Sullivan to Middleswart, 16 July 44. 
Sullivan Papers. (2) Hq Fifth Army, QM Class II 
and IV Maint Data, Italian Campaign, Nov 43-Apr 
44, Incl, 10 May 44. Hist Br OQMG. This report 
covered 235 items, giving increased factors for 70, 
decreased for 122, and no change for 43 items. But 
most of the increases were in the more important 
items, such as winter clothing and intrenching tools. 
They reflected the severity of Italian winter climate 
and the dispersed tactics of mountain combat. (3) 
On 28 July 1944 Middleswart told Sullivan that it 
was true that SOS NATOUSA extracted factors 
from War Department Supply Bulletins because 
those factors had originated from Wyer's excellent 
surveys. Ltr, Middleswart to Sullivan, 28 Jul 44. 
Sullivan Papers. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



185 



supply. In so doing, Sullivan hoped to 
avoid repeating the difficulties which the 
Fifth Army had experienced in its first 
winter campaign in 1943-44, 

Problems of the 1943-44 Winter 
Campaign 

With the advantage of hindsight, one 
may argue that in the later phases Medi- 
terranean commanders did not grasp all 
the implications of the stringent budget 
imposed on them by global planners. 
When resources are slender, an opera- 
tion like Shingle may prove very risky if 
it can neither be quickly completed nor 
abandoned. Once it was clear that An- 
zio would remain an isolated beachhead, 
this became evident very quickly to 
Mediterranean quartermasters who had 
to handle more and more requisitions 
based on higher and higher replacement 
rates. Acutely aware that supply was a 
function of command, quartermasters 
were inclined to believe that attrition of 
Allied supply was the real objective of 
German strategy, and to wonder whether 
Allied strategy was in tune with the cur- 
rent situation. The unity of the Ger- 
man command in contrast to the very 
real barrier represented by the inter- 
Allied boundary — an arbitrary line 
drawn down the central spine of Italy — 
seemed to give the enemy an advantage. 
Some blamed poor staff liaison between 
the American and British army head- 
quarters; others believed that placing an 
administrative boundary along a geo- 
graphic boundary violated a basic prin- 
ciple of war, and that failures of co-ord- 
ination were inevitable.^* Whatever the 



** Chester G. Starr, From Salerno to the Alps 
(Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1948), pages 



explanation, the Allied advance north- 
ward was a costly, inch-by-inch affair, 
marked by repeated tactical failures and 
a very high attrition rate for Quarter- 
master items. 

In the winter of 1943-44, the 10 March 
1943 version of T/E 21 was in force. It 
allowed each man approximately twenty- 
one items of individual clothing and 
twenty-six items of individual equip- 
ment. But of these items, the man's 
woolen undershirt and drawers, his field 
jacket and overcoat, wool socks, shoes, 
blankets, mess gear, and shelter half 
were the critical items of resupply. 
During the first winter in Italy, Middle- 
swart and Sullivan suffered many disap- 
pointments in supplying regular and 
special winter clothing. As they scanned 
requisitions, watched replacement fac- 
tors race upward, read alarming supply 
reports, and heard rumors that men were 
suffering because of the lack of clothing 
or its poor quality, they tried to remedy 
the situation with every device at their 
disposal, but there were many factors in 
the situation which neither man could 
influence. 

During the first twelve days at Saler- 
no, Class II and IV items were issued 
automatically, drawn largely from the 
contents of individual assault packs. ^^ 
On 21 September the requisitioning 
phase began as Fifth Army assumed its 
responsibility for supply. Immediately, 
the calls began to come from divisions 



442-43, describes the very critical attitude of U.S. 
enlisted men, and many officers, regarding Allied 
strategy in Italy. 

^ (1) Sullivan Diary, entries of September 1943. 
(2) Msg 231, Clark to Larkin, 2 Oct 43; Msgs, 
1^3318, L-4199, Larkin to Clark, 6-7 Oct 43. Fifth 
Army, AG 420. (3) Memo, Tate for Sullivan, 21 
Nov 43, sub: Combat Clothing. Sullivan Papers. 



186 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



and regiments for resiipply of stocks. 
Without time to consolidate all requisi- 
tions or to inventory each unit's stocks, 
Sullivan on 2 October 1943 presented 
Middleswart with Fifth Army's first re- 
placement needs for 100,000 men. 
Meanwhile, for lack of anything better, 
the Fifth Army wore the same type of 
clothing which the II Corps had worn 
in the Torch landings and across Tu- 
nisia. The men fought in overcoats, 
which had been criticized a year earlier 
as heavy and cumbersome, and in 1941 
field jackets that were neither warm nor 
durable. Fortunately, some soldiers had 
combat service boots which they had 
tested for over four months while train- 
ing in North Africa. But of the origi- 
nal 90,000 pairs tested, only a few re- 
mained, so that soldiers laced up their 
detested canvas leggings or tucked their 
trouser legs inside the top of their ^vool 
socks. ^^ 

As for quantities of clothing, Sulli- 
van's preinvasion plans failed to mate- 
rialize. Follow-up convoys were delayed 
in unloading at Naples because of the 
extensive damage to port facilities or be- 
cause of the higher priority \vhich other 
classes of supply enjoyed for the mo- 
ment. Consequently, a backlog of regu- 
lar and special items of clothing and 
equipment was created at North African 
ports. But even there Middleswart 
could not piece together any reasonable 
explanation of what had happened to 
the M1943 items which had been dis- 
played during the Tunisian campaign. 
Nor in writing Sullivan was Middle- 
swart able to elaborate on a remark by 



General Somervell, currently in Oran on 
his way to India, that the Mediterranean 
area would no longer enjoy its favorable 
supply position. Somervell told Mid- 
dleswart that hereafter Quartermaster 
requisitions from NATOUSA were not 
to leave the theater unless each one was 
justified. Even with such justification, 
Somervell warned that NYPE had al- 
ready begun to sharpen its editing pen- 
cils in light of the decision on Over- 

LORD.^^ 

Somervell could give Middleswart no 
information on the status of the Mi 943 
experimental items, which had begun 
their rounds for concurrence, test, and 
correction among the many bureaus, 
training centers, and committees of the 
War Department as early as February 
1943- Neither he nor Middleswart 
could foresee that on 15 December 1943, 
a revised T/E 21 would appear, listing 
many of the Mi 943 items for the first 
time, but under special headings that 
would restrict their use to combat op- 
erations in arctic and mountainous 
areas. With their use limited, it was 
clear that production of the items would 
also be limited. It would take consider- 
able salesmanship and a liberal interpre- 
tation of the special headings under the 
new T/E to provide all current or pro- 
jected combat troops with a complete 
set of the recently approved M1943 
items. But this problem lay in the fu- 
ture and the Mediterranean theater was 
not concerned with production even 
though it was the potential customer of 
both regular and special winter clothing 
under the new T/E 21. Only one 
Ml 943 item, the sateen field jacket, was 



*" By March 1944 the new combat boots were be 
ing issued in greater numbers. Cir 44, Hq SOS 
NATOUSA, 25 Mar 44. 



" Ltr, Middleswart to Sullivan, 2 Nov 43. Sulli- 
van Diary. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



187 



placed in the universal and mandatory 
column of the December 1943 T/E 21 
for issue to troops going overseas.-^* In 
that category, the jacket had been di- 
vorced from the layering principle, and 
thus from the original plan for an all- 
purpose, imiversal unit of combat cloth- 
ing and equipment. However, it had 
been authorized to replace other field 
jackets, notably the Mi94i Parsons type, 
when theater stocks of nonstandard 
jackets had been exhausted. But in Oc- 
tober 1943, Middleswart was still un- 
aware of these developments and he had 
to concentrate on getting the Fifth Army 
its replacement needs based on a T/E 
that was over a year and a half old and 
on replacement factors ^vhich Wyer and 
his team had just begun to assemble and 
report. 

Sullivan's 2 October 1943 requisition 
indicated that the armored force winter 
combat suit still enjoyed the popularity 
it had acquired in Tunisia. ^^ He sought 
by the first available transportation 100,- 
000 suits for equipping all infantry 
troops. But Middleswart had received 
bad news. The OQMG had declared the 
tanker's uniform limited-standard in mid- 
summer of 1943. It ^vas no longer even 
being manufactured. Fifty thousand 
suits, which had been ordered earlier by 



^ (1) Risch and Pitkin, Clothing the Soldier of 
World War 11, pp. 48ff. (2) On 7 September 1943 
OQMG informed OCQM SOS ETOUSA that AGF, 
ASF, and AAF had decided to produce 200,000 
Ml 943 items for testing purposes. When the equip- 
ment was ready, it would be tested only in north- 
ern U.S. stations. Ltr, Col John P. Baum to 
Zwicker, 7 Sep 43. Littlejohn Collection, sec. II. 

"* (1) Msgs cited n. 35 (2). (2) While disappointed 
over the news about the tanker's uniform, Sullivan 
favored the uniform and urged Shingle planners to 
adopt it for the assault troops going to Anzio. The 
proposal was not favorably considered. Sullivan MS. 
ch. I. 



Middleswart, were en route to Naples, 
but they would not fill Sullivan's needs. 
Through channels, Middleswart recom- 
mended that, in addition to those already 
authorized under the June 1942 Table 
of Basic Allowances (T/BA) only three 
suits be issued to every two vehicles. 
Though this procedure was suggested in 
the interests of economy, cold weather 
created demands that could not be 
resisted. Tate, the Army G-4, thus au- 
thorized Sullivan to issue 10,000 armored 
force suits to each infantry division, with 
proportional allowances going to those 
artillery, engineer, signal, and chemical 
battalions which supported the infan- 
trymen. 

Through November 1943, with the 
average temperature and rainfall well in 
the wet-cold range, combat units called 
for mufflers, woolen underwear, and 
overcoats.*" Footgear was especially 
wanted. Studies of weather and terrain 
in the Fifth Army's forward areas led 
Clark to fear that without additional 
clothing, casualties from exposure might 
soon exceed those caused by Germans. 
Even piecemeal advances through Italian 
valleys were impossible unless the heights 
were secured first. It was on these dom- 
inating terrain features that the heaviest 
snow and severest cold winds were likely 
to be encountered. To complicate quar- 
termaster supply further, terrain studies 
showed that Italian mountain strong- 
holds, where supplies would be needed 



*" (1) Ltr, CG 34th Inf Div to CG Fifth Army, 
10 Nov 43, sub: Request for Mufflers, Wool; Ltr, AG 
Fifth Army to Hq 15th Army Group, 21 Nov 43, 
sub: Winter Clothing and Equip. Fifth Army, AG 
420. (2) Ltr, CO 213th Coast Arty Regt to CG 45th 
AAA Brig, 18 Nov 43, sub: Lack of Winter Cloth- 
ing. Sullivan Papers. 



11 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



in quantities, were the most inaccessible 
to quartermaster trains. 

Sullivan tackled his problem immedi- 
ately. By special allowances, spelled out 
through many hours of work under try- 
ing conditions, and by emergency ship- 
ments to his dumps, he slowly remedied 
the shortages. Not content to wait for 
staged supply to come forward, Sullivan 
sent trucks direct to Naples. At ship- 
side, the vehicles picked up clothing and 
returned it speedily to the Class II dump 
at Santa Maria near Capua. Owing to 
this action, quantities issued to Fifth 
Army units in November 1943 were 
triple those of October, and those for 
December and January were more than 
double those of the preceding two 
months. By 20 December the Fifth 
Army Class II stocks at Santa Maria had, 
in fact, reached such high levels that 
Tate directed Sullivan to reduce them 
lest the depot's mobility be seriously 
handicapped in a proposed advance. 
Tate understood that Peninsular Base 
Section was ready to assume its normal 
supply responsibility.*^ 

The effect of Sullivan's activities may 
be illustrated by the resupply experi- 
ence of one infantry division, the 34th.*' 
By 15 December it had received its 
special allowance of tanker's uniforms. 
Handling his Class II allocations with 
tact and care, the division G-4 was also 
able to spread special shipments of com- 
bat boots among his regimental supply 
officers to meet their specific operational 
needs. In January 1944 the 34th Division 



received its first shipment of special wet- 
cold weather equipment in sufficient 
quantities. Yet the division's resupply 
of regular woolen items continued to 
fall short. With stocks so scant, these 
articles had to be taken from casualties 
moving rearward to hospitals, then laun- 
dered and reissued. The unit quarter- 
master immediately sought more support 
from the rear, and in late January 1944 
Peninsular Base Section responded. 

As stocks grew in Fifth Army dumps, 
Sullivan, on 7 December 1943, proposed 
a better method of distribution.*^ A 
month later the office of the army quar- 
termaster asked divisional quartermas- 
ters and supply officers of separate units 
to submit their Class II and IV requisi- 
tions daily to commanding officers of the 
several ration railheads. That same eve- 
ning railhead Class I officers forwarded 
the requisitions to army Class II and IV 
warehouses. The following morning 
deliveries were made to ration points. 
To insure arrival of the items, a repre- 
sentative of the army Class II warehouse 
accompanied each convoy and supervised 
railhead distribution. 

Streamlining his procedure still fur- 
ther, Sullivan deposited at each railhead 
stocks of clothing, in lots for 10,000 men, 
consisting of socks, trousers, shirts, under- 
wear, field jackets, and fatigue suits. 
Railhead quartermasters issued this cloth- 
ing in direct exchange for worn gar- 
ments or upon certification that the 
desired articles had been lost or destroyed 
in combat. For a war of attrition the 
system worked well, providing clothing 
and equipment within twenty-four hours 



" (1) Fifth Army History, II, 70-72; III, 70-73. 
(2) Memos, Tate for Sullivan, 21 Nov, 20 Dec 43, 
sub: Combat Clothing. Sullivan Papers. 

" Monthly Jnls, OQM 34th Div, Dec 43-Jan 44. 
Hist Br OQMG. 



" (1) Sullivan MS, p. 29. (2) Operational Memo 
35, OQM Fifth Army, 7 Feb 44. Sullivan Papers. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



189 



from the time the combat unit declared 
its need. In keeping his impetus of 
supply always forward, Sullivan unques- 
tionably reduced the distances combat 
trains traveled to obtain their supplies 
and avoided adding to the confusion on 
roads in the army's rear area. 

The most acutely felt shortage in the 
early days in Italy had been in wool 
socks and waterproof footwear.** The 
mud-soaked and mountainous terrain, 
cut by flooded rivers, shortened the life 
of shoes and socks. During October 1943 
the army Class II officer estimated that 
only 10 percent of the Fifth Army's 
requirements of socks was being filled. 
On one occasion, the 45th Division re- 
ceived only 500 pairs of socks whereas it 
had called for 16,000 pairs. Seeking to 
supply light woolen socks automatically 
on the basis of one pair per combat sol- 
dier per week, an allowance that ex- 
ceeded the currently authorized replace- 
ment factor more than five times, the 
Fifth Army commander predicted that 
coughs, colds, influenza, and pneumonia 
would increase unless the extra socks 
were available and wet socks frequently 
changed. Sullivan warned that trench 
foot might appear. Peninsular Base Sec- 
tion endorsed his request for a factor 
that would provide four pairs of socks to 
60 percent of the men in the combat area 
and two pairs to the remaining 40 per- 
cent in the army's administrative area. 
On 19 November 1943, Colonel Painter 
drew Middleswart's attention to the con- 
trasting climatic conditions of Sicily and 



Italy in winter and recommended that 
Sullivan's estimates be honored.*^ 

Middleswart, recalling Somervell's 
parting remark to him at Oran, urged 
the Fifth Army, Peninsular Base, and his 
own staff to provide him with reasons 
why a requirement of 5.16 times the gen- 
erally authorized factor on socks was jus- 
tified. Wyer's Control Branch pointed 
to the Seventh Army's factor of 1,260 
pairs per 1,000 men per month in Sicily 
in contrast to the Fifth Army's projected 
factor of 4,334 pairs per 1,000 men per 
month in Italy. Messages about socks 
continued to stream back and forth 
across the Mediterranean, but finally one 
from across the Atlantic ended the dis- 
cussion. On 9 December 1943 Middle- 
swart notified Sullivan that the increased 
factor was "not favorably considered by 
the War Department." Sock replace- 
ments continued to flow to Italy at the 
rate of 1,680 pairs per 1,000 men per 
month for combat troops and as low as 
840 per 1,000 men per month for support 
troops on normal duty.**' 

Arctic overshoes were so scarce that 
existing supplies had to be carefully allo- 



" (1) Fifth Army History, II, 71. (2) Msg 4180, 
Clark to Larkin, 27 Oct 43; Msg L-8646, Larkin to 
Clark, 30 Oct 43; Msg 4469, Clark to Larkin. 9 Nov 
43. All in Fifth Army, AG 420. (3) Ltr, Sullivan 
to Doriot, 1 Dec 43. Hist Br OQMG. 



*^ (\) Msg 868, CO PBS to CG SOS NATOUSA, 
19 Nov 43. Sullivan Papers. (2) Plans to achieve 
the objective of one pair of socks per man per week 
undoubtedly included reissue of used stock, whether 
repaired or merely laundered. But bath and cloth- 
ing exchange services were still experimental, and 
even if completely successful the quantity to be re- 
covered from that source was still unknown. 

*" (1) Msg L-2936, Larkin to Clark, 9 Dec 43. (2) 
In September 1944, on the eve of moving into the 
Gothic Line, Sullivan reviewed Fifth Army ex- 
perience with replacement factors of light wool 
socks. The factor per 1,000 men per 30 days had 
varied from a low of 606.140 in August 1944 to 
a high of 2,582.253 in December 1943 with the aver- 
age factor at 1,288.072 for the lo-month period from 
November 1943 through August 1944. Ltr, Clark to 
Larkin, 8 -Sep 44 sub: Repl Factor-Socks, Wool, 
Light. Sullivan Papers. 



190 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



cated.*^ A priority system, established 
in November 1943, provided for 100 per- 
cent distribution to front-line soldiers, 75 
percent to corps and army personnel, and 
50 percent to base section troops. Not- 
withstanding this frugality, maintenance 
stocks dropped and replacements were 
unavailable. The OQMG had only 
1,000 12-inch shoepacs to offer, but Clark 
replied that he had to have enough to 
carry him through the middle of Janu- 
ary 1944. The Fifth Army received only 
135,000 of the 208,000 pairs of arctic over- 
shoes it had requisitioned; quickly issu- 
ing 134,000 of these, the army depot had 
only 1,000 pairs on hand, and all of these 
were in small sizes, 6 to 8. 

Fighting their first long winter cam- 
paign of World War II in army strength 
— only the small force on Attn had been 
engaged in winter fighting and then only 
for twenty days during the spring of 
1943 — an increasing number of American 
soldiers were now suffering from trench 
foot, something which had plagued all 
armies obliged to fight in cold, wet 
weather.** In October 1943 Sullivan's 
forecast of trench foot had been largely 



*' Memos, Tate for Sullivan, 25 Nov 43, 14 Jan 
44, sub: Issue of Rubber Overshoes; Memo, Supply 
Off OQM for G-4 Fifth Army, 14 Jan 44. All in 
Sullivan Papers. 

** In World War I, the American Expeditionary 
Forces, with less than 2,000 trench foot casualties, 
had been spared serious disabling effects largely be- 
cause it had fought its major battles between March 
and November 1918. The armistice took troops out 
of trenches before winter weather struck in force. 
In marked contrast, the British Army suffered 97,414 
trench foot casualties in World War I in western 
Europe alone, with 3,100 cases in France and 
Flanders during the week ending 16 December 1916. 
(Maj. Gen. Sir H. L. Tidy, ed., Inter-Allied Con- 
ferences on War Medicine, 1942—1945 (London: 
Staples Press Ltd, 1947), p. 140.) But by 1917 the 
British had largely solved their trench foot problem. 
See below, ch. XVI. 



speculative; alerted to the sudden ap- 
pearance of numerous trench foot cases, 
medical officers by early December were 
anxiously watching sick lists. By Janu- 
ary 1944 Sullivan noted in his diary that 
"the Medico is excited about the ques- 
tion of trench feet. . . ." From Novem- 
ber 1943 through February 1944 the 
monthly incidence rose from 371 to 1,805. 
One detailed report concluded that 
trench foot alone accounted for nearly 
25 percent of the total casualties among 
American troops.*" 

Trench foot appeared after soldiers 
were exposed to cold water, mud, and 
relative inactivity. The duration of ex- 
posure before affliction varied from four 
to fifteen days, with an average of six 
days. Constant wearing of wet socks 
and shoes, failure to clean or massage the 
feet, and constriction due to footwear 
fitted or laced too tightly added to the 
risks. Studies of the earliest cases in 
November 1943 revealed that none had 
worn footwear other than the regula- 
tion service shoe (the combat boot was 
not worn universally until March 1944) , 
that only one man had worn heavy 
woolen socks, and that forty-five men 
had not changed their shoes or socks 
during the entire period of exposure. ^*' 
In February 1944, when the epidemic 
was three months old and at its peak, a 



** (1) Memo, Surgeon 2626 AAA Brig for A A Off 
II Corps, 6 Dec 43. Sullivan Papers. (2) Sullivan 
Diary, 21 Jan 44. (3) Fi^th Army at the Winter Line 
(15 November 1943-15 January 1944), in the series 
AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION (Washington, 
1945) pp. 87-88. (4) Lt Col Fiorindo A. Simeone, 
Trench Foot in the Italian Campaign, p. 5. MS in 
Hist Unit, American Medical Society. (Hereafter 
cited as Simeone Rpt.) (5) Whayne and DeBakey, 
Cold Injury, Ground Type, p. 103. 

^^ (1) Simeone Rpt, pp. 15, 17. (2) Cir 44, Hq SOS 
NATOUSA, 25 Mar 44. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



191 




The M1943 Outfit. Extreme-cold version (left); outfit as tested at Anzio (right). 



survey of over loo cases revealed that 
none of the men understood that trench 
foot could result merely from inactivity 
in temperatures that were cold but not 
freezing, while wearing wet shoes and 
socks. Replacements for the 3d Infan- 
try Division had little, if any, instruc- 
tion in the care of the feet. Sick call 
statistics could be directly related to 



training, or lack of it. Echoing the 
army quartermaster's views, the 3d Divi- 
sion surgeon summarized the proper pre- 
ventative measures: "Trench foot is sim- 
ilar to the venereal problem . . . both of 
them depend on the education of the in- 
dividual soldier." ^^ 



^^ Ltr, Maj Robert H. Bates to Doriot, 25 Apr 45. 
Sullivan Papers. 



192 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Anzio Test of New Special Items 

Unaware that in the days ahead their 
offerings would be the subject of both 
praise and abuse, OQMG observers 
brought about thirty different Quarter- 
master Class II and IV experimental 
items to the Anzio beachhead at the end 
of March 1944. Each item had won a 
place on special headings of T/E 21, 15 
December 1943, for issue to troops in 
cold-temperate, low mountain, or alpine 
areas, and had received War Depart- 
ment sanction to be combat tested. In 
light of the difficulties during the first 
winter in Italy and the prospect that 
Fifth Army might spend another winter 
there, the scope of the tests at Anzio 
took on special significance for NATO- 
USA quartermasters. But in retrospect 
the test was the halfway mark of a much 
broader story. It was the climax of a 
research and development project the 
OQMG had been working on since mid- 
1942, and the turning point of a sales- 
manship effort to convince many wary 
customers of the value of the product. 
As salesmen, OQMG representatives 
would have many questions to answer. 
Would the items win places in the man- 
datory columns of a revised T/E 21? 
Would theater commanders adopt the 
items for use in their combat zones? 
Would higher authorities at home in- 
terpret the special headings under T/E 
21 liberally or strictly, when vital priori- 
ties with regard to raw materials, indus- 
trial production, sea transportation, and 
the conflicting demands of other thea- 
ters were at stake? 

Quartermaster observers were not pre- 
pared to answer such questions, and in- 
deed the final answers were largely de- 
pendent upon the size of the requisi- 



tions submitted in response to the sam- 
ple offerings. The significance of Tables 
of Equipment in arriving at such deci- 
sions was not widely understood within 
the Army. These T/E's were simul- 
taneously catalogues of what was availa- 
ble and written authorizations to requi- 
sition what was listed. Until they had 
been seen and studied by supply officers 
at the grass roots level, a theater quart- 
ermaster could only offer a rough guess 
at what his requirements for a new item 
might be. Providing enough copies of a 
T/E for such a theater-wide scrutiny, by 
local printing or massive airmail ship- 
ments from the United States, was a 
vital step in the process. This was a re- 
sponsibility of The Adjutant General's 
Office, which either failed to understand 
the need for wide distribution or was 
unable to obtain priorities for tasks of 
this magnitude. As late as 3 November 
1944, when Fifth Army called off its al- 
pine offensive, an OQMG observer re- 
ported: 

T/E 21 dated 1 June 1944 has not been 
distributed in this Theatre as yet with the 
exception of advance copies. As a result, 
T/E 21 dated 15 December 1943 is being 
used except in such instances where special 
attention to certain items has been drawn 
by correspondence and radios from the 
War Department. I checked with the pub- 
lications depot this morning and found 
that the first copies of the 1 June 1944 edi- 
tion were received on 21 September and to 
date 1,013 copies for general distribution 
have been received. No general distribu- 
tion is made until at least fifty percent of 
the total required amount has been re- 
ceived. Eight thousand copies are required 
for complete distribution. . . . This situa- 
tion must necessarily be difficult from the 
point of view of computing requirements 
in the office and unless it is corrected, I can 
not see how any degree of accuracy can be 
attained. While at Headquarters, Penin- 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



193 



sular Base Section where requisitions are 
edited for the 5th and 7th Armies as well as 
the 12th AF, I found that they had only one 
copy of the new T/E 21 and this Head- 
quarters [NATOUSA] has but one.^^ 

For the Quartermaster Corps, which 
has on its roster both salesmen and 
customers of its products, the moral of 
this episode, unfortimately not an un- 
usual one, was clear: there was a need to 
improve liaison and co-ordination be- 
t^veen bureau and field organizations 
through a stronger technical channel. 
In all tests, it proved wise for both user 
and supplier to see the results personally 
rather than merely read a series of dis- 
connected command reports based on 
the findings of a series of observers. For 
tactical commanders, whose main inter- 
est is always in the quantity of items, the 
lesson is equally simple — sound and 
prompt command decisions must speed- 
ily be channeled to support commands. 
Every day's delay in making a decision 
hobbles production and distribution ef- 
forts. 

In contrast to the few OQMG foot- 
lockers of experimental samples dis- 
played across North Africa by Captain 
Pounder in March 1943, thirty-one new 
items of the December 1943 T/E 21 were 
forwarded in sufficient quantity to per- 
mit distribution to an infantry battal- 
ion.^^ The OQMG had laid the ground- 
work for the tests in January 1944. Tac- 
ticians had been receptive to the project, 



=" Ltr, Capt Knight Ames, OQMG Obsv Hq COMZ 
NATOUSA, to Doriot, 3 Nov 44. OQMG MED 
3'9-25- 

^ (i) Msg 2810, Clark to CG VI Corps, 25 Mar 44. 
Sullivan Papers. (2) Ltr and Incls, CG 3d Inf Div 
to CG Fifth Army, 9 May 44, sub: Test of QM 
Items, 30 Mar-30 Apr 44. Fifth Army, AG 420. 
(Hereafter cited as Anzio C&E Rpt.) (3) Ltr, Sulli- 
van to Doriot, 7 Apr 44. Sullivan Papers. 



and the OQMG hoped that by establish- 
ing better controls more meaningful 
conclusions could be reached. It was 
imderstood that troop commanders and 
quartermasters would consider the pre- 
cious commodity of time in weighing the 
quality and quantity of items at stake. 

Sent to Italy to supervise the tests were 
two officers from the Research and De- 
velopment Branch, OQMG, who had 
come via slow convoy to assure that the 
experimental items were not diverted en 
route. Each officer had a letter of intro- 
duction, dated 28 February 1944, from 
Col. Georges F. Doriot, chief of the Mil- 
itary Planning Division, and also chief 
of the Research and Development 
Branch. Maj. Robert H. Bates, an 
experienced mountain climber and ad- 
viser to OQMG on cold weather cloth- 
ing, and 1st Lt. Michael Slauta, a quali- 
fied parachutist with a knowledge of 
infantry platoon tactics, proceeded to 
Anzio on War Department orders. Gen- 
eral Clark notified the VI Corps that one 
battalion of the 30th Infantry Regiment 
was to receive the shipment and test it 
under actual battle conditions for a 
month. He asked for a final report, com- 
plete with findings, photographs, and 
recommendations for changes in items 
under test. Neither Clark nor senior 
quartermasters, who were not present for 
the tests, explained to the VI Corps that 
the experimental items were to be com- 
pared with current T/E listings and lim- 
ited standard items already in use in the 
theater. 

On 28 March 1944 the items to be 
tested reached the 3d Infantry Division, 
Brig. Gen. John W. O'Daniel command- 
ing. O'Daniel ordered Lt. Col. Wood- 
row W. Stromberg, Commanding Officer, 
2d Battalion, 30th Infantry, to distribute 



194 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



them among 932 men ot his command. 
He also directed his own divisional re- 
connaissance platoon and the comparable 
platoons of his three regiments, the 7th, 
15th, and 30th Infantry, together total- 
ing 215 men, to test the equipment. 
Shoelaces and ski socks were to be tested 
by a hundred men of the division's mili- 
tary police, and wool comforters by 43 
men of the division's quartermaster com- 
pany. Nine men of the 191st Tank Bat- 
talion, attached to 3d Division, were to 
test the suitability of all the items for 
armored force use. 

The Anzio beachhead, 100 square 
miles between the German lines and the 
Tyrrhenian Sea, was the test area. Its 
terrain was low, wet, and muddy, and it 
was cut by many small streams. Large 
sandy areas met the sea. No hilly ground 
was available, but battle action and 
barbed wire entanglements, in the opin- 
ion of tacticians, provided a better test 
of the durability of the experimental 
items than rugged physical features. 
The weather was not cold, temperatures 
varying from 37° to 70° Fahrenheit. 
Winds averaged 5 to 8 miles per hour 
with occasional gusts up to 20 miles per 
hour. Showers fell on an average of one 
every third day, and heavy rains occurred 
on two days of the testing period. De- 
spite the high average daytime tempera- 
ture, excessive dampness made for chilly 
nights. 

As for the tactical aspects of the test, it 
took place during a period of near stale- 
mate. Neither side started any attacks 
involving many men or much armor. 
During the first fortnight participating 
units were five miles behind the front, 
undergoing rigorous field training. 
Five-mile, speed-conditioning marches, 
tactical exercises in scouting and patroll- 



ing, attacks against mock enemy posi- 
tions, weapons training, and movement 
through barbed wire entanglements, all 
subjected clothing and equipment to 
stress and strain which commanders felt 
were comparable to those on the firing 
line. The last half of the test brought 
the 2d Battalion, 30th Infantry, with sup- 
porting units, back to the front. During 
daylight hours, the lines were quiet and 
troops remained in their foxholes or 
underground shelters. At night, recon- 
naissance and combat patrols moved 
actively between the lines. On one oc- 
casion Company F with attached armor 
raided a German position. 

The major items tested at Anzio com- 
prised 1,567 Ml 943 field jackets plus 
1,000 hoods, 1,373 high-necked sweaters, 
and 3,300 cotton field trousers. These 
items had been projected as an assembly 
in the fall of 1942, intended to be worn 
together over woolen underwear, shirts, 
and trousers, during winter in the tem- 
perate zone. That concept had been 
disapproved, and in T/E 21, 15 Decem- 
ber 1943, the M1943 jacket alone was 
authorized for all enlisted men at all sea- 
sons, except in the tropics. The other 
new items (except the hood, which had 
not yet been standardized) were author- 
ized for issue in arctic. Zone 1 (cold- 
temperate), and mountainous areas at 
the discretion of the theater commander. 
They were to be turned in upon perma- 
nent change of station or upon move- 
ment into an area where climatic con- 
ditions did not demand this type of 
clothing. Since Anzio is situated on a 
Mediterranean coastal plain, it cannot 
conceivably be regarded as an arctic, 
cold-temperate, or mountainous area. 
Clearly, therefore, this test was intended 
to prove the practicability of the layered 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



195 



uniform in a normal temperate winter 
climate — the climate tor which it was 
originally designed. If this could be 
demonstrated to tlie satisfaction of Clark 
and his army quartermaster, and Devers 
and his SOS NATOUSA quartermaster, 
amendment or an official reinterpreta- 
tion of the ciuTent T/E 21 was highly 
probable.'* 

After the test Stromberg's battalion 
rated the Mi 943 jacket an improvement 
over the 1941 Parsons jacket in appear- 
ance, camouflage, and utility. Strom- 
berg and O'Daniel both approved of the 
experimental imiform, writing that "the 
discovery that men could fight out of 
their jacket and trouser pockets" was the 
most important feature of the test.^^ 
As a special modification of the Mi 943 
jacket, Stromberg designed a rear pocket 
capable of carrying a day's K or C ration, 
plus a poncho or blanket sleeping bag. 

Several types of footwear were also 
tested, including a service shoe with 
rubber-cleated soles, a combat boot which 
was actually a service shoe with an at- 
tached leather cuff designed to replace 
the canvas legging, and a shoepac. 
Stromberg's battalion received two kinds 
of woolen socks, one with a cushion sole 
and reinforced toe and heel, and the 
other a heavy ski sock. The combat 
service boot, already tested in North 
Africa, met with an enthusiastic recep- 
tion. So did the shoepac. The latter — 
a high moccasin with rubber foot and 
leather top — was regarded as indispen- 
sable in combating trench foot in wet 



" (1) Study, Supply of Clothing and Equip to 
ETO, 1944, prepared for CG ASF by TQMG, 5 Apr 
45. ASF OQMG File A45-280, drawer 7. (2) Cloth- 
ing and Individual Equipment, T/E 21, 15 Decem- 
ber 1943, sec. X. (3) See Map 3. 

'^Anzio C&E Rpt. 



terrain. Infantrymen considered both 
types of woolen socks an improvement 
over the currently issued liglit woolen 
socks. They praised cushion sole socks 
as a companion of combat service boots 
and felt that the ski sock had consider- 
able promise for similar use with the 
shoepac. 

In an attempt to increase the comfort 
of the soldier who had to sleep out of 
doors during winter weather, several 
types of sleeping bags were tried at 
Anzio. The mountain sleeping bag, a 
specialized item containing down and 
feathers, was lauded by all who used it, 
and the wool sleeping bag, actually a 
blanket sewed in the shape of a bag, was 
also favorably received. If the wool bag 
was not available, O'Daniel's testers rec- 
ommended the heavy and bulky wool 
comforter for use by service troops or by 
troops who were completely motorized. 
The report criticized a washable sheet, 
intended as a liner for the mountain 
sleeping bag, on the grounds that it 
twisted in the bag and caused discom- 
fort. General approval was given to the 
resin-coated ponchos — rectangular pieces 
of cloth with a hole in the middle — 
which had been designed originally to 
replace the unpopular raincoat. This 
item also exhibited great versatility as a 
ground cloth to be wrapped around a 
sleeping bag, as a cover over a foxhole, 
or as a shelter half. 

Gloves, cotton caps, and suspenders 
were among other clothing items tested 
while new types of personal equipment 
appearing on the beachhead included 
100 grenade carriers, 1,258 mountain 
knives, 1,373 field packs, and 950 water- 
proof clothing bags. Listed also on dis- 
cretionary columns of T/E 21, these per- 
sonal items met with varying responses: 



196 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the 30th Infantry recommended some, 
others required additional testing, and 
still others were eliminated as prospec- 
tive objects of issue. The success of the 
Anzio test, from the Quartermaster 
Corps point of view, was implicit in 
General O'Daniel's recommendation on 
9 May 1944 that twenty-four of the thirty- 
one experimental items should be made 
authorized articles of issue by the theater 
commander. 

A notable omission from the Anzio 
tests was the wool field jacket. Inspired 
by the inadequacy of the wool serge coat, 
by the recent adoption of a short jacket 
by the Army Air Forces, and by the at- 
tractive and functional features of the 
British battle jacket, this garment was 
later known as the ETO or Eisenhower 
jacket. It was finally standardized by 
compromise between ETO and OQMG 
models in April, as the Anzio tests were 
being made. Nevertheless, some 300,000 
jackets of the ETO model had been de- 
livered by British manufacturers by the 
end of 1943, and the OQMG version had 
reached an advanced stage of design by 
February 1944. The absence of the 
wool jacket (either version) at Anzio 
tends to confirm an impression that An- 
zio had been selected deliberately to 
demonstrate the suitability of the Mi943 
outfit for mild-temperate as well as 
cold-temperate climates. The complete 
M1943 outfit, including either a pile 
jacket or the wool jacket now under 
consideration to replace it, was clearly 
the proper uniform for Fifth Army 
troops in the more mountainous parts 
of the combat zone, and the pile jacket 
was authorized for such terrain by the 
current T/E 21. Presumably plans were 
already under way to supply the wool 
jacket to the Mediterranean theater. In 



June Colonel Doriot, one of the major 
proponents of the layering principle, ex- 
plained the ETO jacket as a part thereof 
to Sullivan: 

. . . when cold your soldiers would wear 
the Jacket, Field, M-43, under that, the 
Jacket, Field, Wool and under that, the 
sweater, high neck. They would wear the 
cotton trousers and under them the wool 
trousers. I think, that should give them 
good fighting equipment with a lot of flex- 
ibility and still the ability to look well if 
they want to go to the city and wear the 
jacket, field, wool and the wool trousers as 
outside garments. That is our proposal, 
but as you realize, the answers to those 
cables are made by A. S. F., not by us.^^ 

As early as 10 May 1944 Middleswart 
learned that the wool field jacket would 
soon replace the serge coat on T/E 21 as 
a mandatory item. On 31 May 1944 
NATOUSA submitted exploratory req- 
uisitions for several items, including 
700,000 ETO wool jackets. The tenta- 
tively favorable reply received ten days 
later was signed "Marshall." It ap- 
peared to be routine, but had actually 
been co-ordinated between the OQMG, 
the Requirements Division of ASF, and 
the Policy Branch of G-4. The conclu- 
sion reached was that NATOUSA could 
be designated as low-mountain or alpine 
terrain, and as such was entitled to the 
special combat uniform." 

Almost two months (30 April-25 June 
1944) elapsed between the completion of 
the tests and the submission of NATO- 



^^ (1) Ltr, Doriot to Sullivan, 4 Jun 44. Sullivan 
Papers. (2) See below, ch. XVI. 

s^ (1) Cable WARX 48935, Marshall to Devers, 
10 Jun 44. Sullivan Papers. (2) Memo, Reqmts Div 
ASF (Col Denson) for Policy Br G-4, WDGS, 3 Jun 
44, sub: Secret Radio CM-IN-i.-,7, Dated 1 Jun 44, 
with Memo for Record attached. SPRMP 422.3, ASF 
OQMG File A45— 280, drawer 7. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



197 



USA's requisitions on NYPE. It had 
taken three weeks to prepare and sub- 
mit O'Daniel's final report to Clark and 
to place an exploratory request on the 
War Department for a total of twenty- 
six new items. Considerable paper work 
still had to be done. Ramsey and Mid- 
dleswart had to consult the eighty-page 
pamphlet, entitled Table of Equipment 
21, dated 15 December 1943, which gave 
the authorized allowances for individual 
clothing and equipment for combat pur- 
poses. The job was difficult because, as 
already noted, by June 1944 NATOUSA 
was dividing its forces between Dragoon 
and Italy. Obviously, there could be no 
replacement experience rates on any of 
these new items. Another disturbing 
and time-consuming factor operating 
against early deliveries was a revised req- 
uisition procedure dated 19 April 1944.'- 
In effect, it denied any theater the privi- 
lege of requisitioning new items on 
NYPE until the port authorities re- 
ceived Avord from the OQMG that stocks 
existed or would soon be available. 
When NYPE received this information, 
the port commander would notify the 
theater that it was ready to accept formal 
requisitions. Thus considerable explo- 
ration had to be done by many com- 
mands before SOS requisitions could 
even be placed in the proper supply 
channel. 

Apparently NATOUSA's exploratory 
requests had no effect on the issuance of 
the revised T/E 21, which was dated 1 
June 1944. Contrary to most expecta- 
tions, the new table did not materially 
broaden the basis of issue for special 



winter items. Nevertheless, NATO- 
USA's demand for items to be used in 
wet-cold or extreme cold conditions 
soared from modest requirements for 
high alpine operations to a whole thea- 
ter's wants in six months. Meanwhile, 
the largest customer of all the theaters, 
ETOUSA, had received copies of the 
new T/E by the middle of June. In 
competition with this potential custo- 
mer, on 25 June 1944 NATOUSA and 
SOS NATOUSA requisitioned on 
NYPE twenty-seven articles in quanti- 
ties ranging from 6,000 pairs of ski gog- 
gles and 13,000 parkas to 948,000 Mi 943 
field jackets and 1,687,000 pairs of ski 
socks. Certain items were requested for 
every individual in the theater, but in 
the event that complete deliveries could 
not be made, a list of priorities was fur- 
nished to assure the equitable distribu- 
tion of warm clothing from the front 
lines rearward. As the receipt of the 
new clothing and equipment would re- 
sult in NATOUSA having on hand, un- 
used, large stocks of limited-standard 
items, the theater intended that these 
stocks should be issued to French forces 
and to Italian cobelligerents.^^ 

The job of clothing troops during the 
summer of 1944 ^^^^ comparatively sim- 
ple. In xhe forward areas they contin- 
ued to U'Car the 'woolen trousers and 
shirts, changing into herringbone twill 
fatigue suits when the weather was 
warm. Khaki cotton garments, tradi- 
tionally worn in summer, failed to meet 



"^WD AGO Ltr, sub: Supply of Newly Standard- 
ized Items to Overseas Comds, 19 Apr 44. AG 400 
(17 Apr 44) OB-S-SPDDL_M. 



™ (1) Rad F— 53022, Devers to AGWAR, 31 May 
44 (filed by ASF as Rad CM-In-157, i Jun 44). 
Hist Br OQMG. f2) NATOUSA Requisition J-89, 
25 Jun 44. SPRMP 422.3, ASFOQMG File A45-280, 
drawer 7. 



198 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Table 3 — Winter Uniform and Equipment for Fifth Army 



Item 



Quantity 



T/E 21 Regular Allowances— All U.S. Troops 



Undershirts and drawers, wool 

Shirt and trousers, wool, OD 

Cap, jacket M1943 with hood and trousers, cotton, OD, 

1^11943° 

Sweater, high neck, wool" 

Jacket, field, wool, ETO type" 

Overcoat, or coat, mackinaw 

Blanket, wool, OD 

Bag, sleeping wool w/case (or 2 extra blankets)" 

Shoepacs (for combat elements) with socks, ski and insoles". 

Overshoes, arctic (for service troops) 

Gloves 

Suits, working, HBT 

Boots or shoes 



2 each 
2 each 

I each 
1 each 
1 each 

1 each 

2 each 
1 each 
1 pair 
1 pair 

Usual T/E allowances 
Usual T/E allowances 
Usual T/E allowances 



Ground Combat and Service Force Combat Troops 



Bags, sleeping, mountain". . . . 

Overcoats, parka" 

Parka, wet weather" 

Trousers, wet weather" 

Cap, field pile" 

Pads, insulating, sleeping bag" 



50,000 (9,000 per division) 

75,000 (9,000 per division) 

5,921 (5 percent of combat strength) 

5,921 (5 percent of combat strength) 

11,842 (10 percent of combat strength) 

11,842 (10 percent of combat strength) 



For Army Stock — Anticipated Mountain Operations 



Tents, mountain, 2-man, complete. 

Skis, and ski boots 

Snowshoes, bear paw 

Axe, ice, mountain 



9,000 each 
1,150 pairs 
1,220 pairs 
1,150 each 



"New Items of issue. 



combat camouflage standards, and ap- 
peared only within support commands.^" 

The Second Winter in the Apennines 

Determined not to repeat the tribula- 
tions of the first winter in Italy, the 
Fifth Army on the eve of crossing the 



*" (i) At Anzio, some combat troops wore the 
herringbone twill suit, but commanders objected 
to its use because it resembled the green of the 
German field uniform. Ltr, Ramsey to Littlejohn, 
4 Feb 43. Hist Br OQMG. (2) Cir 59, Hq SOS 
NATOUSA, 25 Apr 44. 



Tiber looked ahead to the time when 
the troops would need resupply of their 
regular winter clothing and additional 
sets of wet-cold weather clothing. As 
early as 31 May Ramsey cabled the War 
Department that the Fifth Army re- 
quired clothing for 361,500 men by 15 
August shipment from NYPE.®' After 
9 June the Fifth Army transferred troops 
to Dragoon, and Sullivan reduced his 



" Memo cited n. 57 (2). 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



199 



call for clothing to that required for 
175,000 U.S. troops. (Table 3)*''- 

Throughout the summer as Fifth 
Army swept north to the Arno, Sullivan 
made repeated representations to sup- 
port commands for the early delivery of 
winter clothing and equipment. "^^ Re- 
ports from the War Department indi- 
cated that the supply of some items 
would be fraught with difficulties. Sul- 
livan replied to each message, pointing 
out that time was slipping by. On 4 
August Florence fell, and Fifth Army 
made a secret lateral movement eastward 
toward the Florence-Bologna line of ad- 
vance. Behind Fifth Army, Leghorn 
and the line of communications to Flor- 
ence still had to be developed. The 
Italian summer would soon end, and by 
1 October troops would change into 
their winter woolens. With each pass- 
ing day the language of Sullivan's mes- 
sages became stronger. The first week 
of September passed, and, with the dead- 
line of the 15th distinctly in mind, Clark 
asked Peninsular Base Section about the 
status of Fifth Army's quartermaster req- 
uisitions. ". . . In view of lateness of 
new type items advise availability in 
PBS stocks, trousers, combat, jackets, 
combat, and other cold weather clothing 
as possible substitutes."^* At the same 
time, Sullivan told Tate that Fifth 
Army's stocks of \vinter clothing had 
been depleted except for 7,707 combat 



"^ 2d Wrapper Ind, Hq Fifth Army to Hq Allied 
Armies in Italy, 27 Aug 44. AG 475-Q- Sullivan 
Papers. 

^ (i) Rad F-66784, Devers to AGWAR, 2 Jul 44. 
Fifth Army, AG 420. (2) Msg. Clark to Devers, 20 
Jul 44. Sullivan Papers. 

"* (1) Indorsement cited n. 62. (2) Memo, Sulli- 
van for Middleswart, 5 Aug 44. Sullivan Papers. 
(3) Quoted from Msg 2922, Clark to CG PBS, 4 
Sep 44. Sullivan Papers. 



jackets and 2,060 combat trousers. No 
one knew the exact contents of each divi- 
sion's reserve. With the demands of 
four infantry divisions and one armored 
division in mind, Clark asked SOS 
NATOUSA to keep Sullivan constantly 
advised as to the receipt of the various 
clothing items so that arrangements 
could be made for prompt distribution. 
On 9 September Middleswart presented 
Sullivan with a detailed account of the 
status of each item and when convoys 
could be expected at Naples. The latter 
were due before the end of September. 
Meanwhile, SOS NATOUSA alerted 
base sections to a critical shortage of 
blankets in the event that sleeping bags 
arrived late, and prepared to recall all 
surplus blankets from service troops, rest 
camps, staging areas, hospitals, and unit 
storerooms. Simultaneously, Tate quer- 
ied Sullivan: "Will the delivery dates 
sufficiently differ from those requested 
... to indicate a letter of protest 
through channels?" ^■' 

Early in October stocks of clothing 
and equipment at Naples, Leghorn, and 
Florence rose sharply, thus relieving the 
anxieties of September. These ship- 
ments reached the troops none too soon. 
While Fifth Army was driving toward 
Bologna the rains never seemed to stop 
falling. Roads ^vere impassable and sup- 
ply areas lay in seas of mud. At the 
front blankets and woolen underwear 
were among the first winter items to ar- 
rive. By mid-October almost enough 
Ml 943 sateen jackets, high-neck sweaters. 



°^ Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 16 Sep 44, sub: Status 
of Requisitions and Shipments of Winter Clothing; 
Msg, Clark to Larkin, 16 Sep 44; Msgs, CG Fifth 
Army to CG PBS, 20 and 27 Sep 44; quotation is 
from 2d Ind, G-4 Rear to QM Fifth Army, 16 Sep 
44, sub: Woolen Clothing for Winter Wear. All in 
Sullivan I'apers. 



200 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Table 4 — Fifth Army Issues of Winter Clothing 





October 

1944 
Strength 


Item 


Division 


Field 
Jackets 
M1943 


Wool 
Sweaters 


Shoe- 

pacs 

(pairs) 


Sleep- 
ing Bags 

w/case 


Wool 
Undershirts 


Wool 
Drawers 


Totals 

34th Infantry.. . 
85th Infantry.. . 
88th Infantry.. . 
91st Infantry. . . 
1st Armored. . . . 


74,765 
15,713 
15,724 
16,132 
15,281 
11,915 


74,496 

12,423 
15,920 
16,211 
17,542 
12,400 


74,333 
15,286 
15,000 
14,763 
17,542 
11,742 


55,900 
10,202 
11,333 
12,866 
11,635 
9,864 


51,842 
10,400 
10,000 
10,000 
10,004 
11,438 


139,904 
30,108 
29,326 
29,100 
28,840 
22,530 


127,966 
30,926 
19,426 
29,100 
26,440 
22,074 



and shoepacs arrived to outfit every sol- 
dier on the line. (Table 4)^^ 

Journals maintained by divisional 
quartermaster companies indicated that 
the ne\v supplies were issued as fast as 
they were brought forward by army.*^^ 
Shortages of sleeping bags, small-sized 
shoepacs, and woolen trousers were 
eased. As Sullivan watched his stock 
charts move upward, he suddenly learned 
that two U.S. divisions would pull out of 
the line, that they would go into tents, 
and that no offensive would begin until 
April 1945. This meant that many of 
the conditions which had existed along 
the Gustav Line, such as the retention 
of combat troops in the line for abnor- 
mally long periods of time, would not 



*'Memo and IncI, Sullivan for Clark, 7 Oct 44; 
Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 15 Oct 44, sub: Status of 
Winter Clothing Issues. Both in Sullivan Papers. 

" (1) Memos, G-4 Rear for G-4 Fifth Army, 27 
Sep, 11 Oct 44, sub: Winter and Cold Climate 
Clothing and Equip; Memo, G-4 Rear for QM 
Fifth Army, 7 Nov 44, sub: Special Cold Climate 
Clothing and Equip. Both in Sullivan Papers. (2) 
Ltr, CG 45th AAA Brig to CG Fifth Army, 17 Nov 
44, sub: Special Winter Clothing; Ltr and Ind, 
CG Task Force 45 to CG Fifth Army, 29 Dec 44, 
sub: Special Winter Clothing. Both in IV Corps, 
AG 400. (3) Monthly Journals, 34th Div QM and 
88th Div QM Co, Sep-Nov 44. Unit Hist Files, Hist 
Br OQMG. 



occur along the Gothic Line. Yet quar- 
termasters would still have the mission 
of providing additional protection for 
troops in a few exposed positions. Dur- 
ing November 1944 each committed unit 
gradually received a special allocation of 
heavy cold weather clothing which had 
been requisitioned early in August. 
This allocation included 280 pairs of 
goggles, 920 sets of wet weather parkas 
and trousers, 3,200 pile caps, 3,700 moun- 
tain sleeping bags, and 10,000 pairs of 
shell mittens with inserts for each divi- 
sion. Currently employed as infantry on 
the western flank of the Allied line, 
where combat after 2 November 1944 
was limited but vigorous, several anti- 
aircraft artillery battalions received pro- 
portional quantities of special winter 
equipment. 

Because of scheduling and production 
difficulties in the United States, the de- 
livery of wool field jackets, 700,000 of 
which had been requisitioned in June 
1944. lagged. Early in November 1944 
initial issues began to arrive, but Penin- 
sular Base Section froze all stocks until 
wider distribution was possible. In the 
interim, SOS NATOUSA authorized the 
distribution of such pile jackets as were 
available to provide troops with another 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



201 



layer of clothing between the sweater and 
the Ml 943 jacket. By January 1945 the 
ETO type of wool field jacket, originally 
recommended in June 1944 as one of 
the layered items, appeared in the field. 
A prestige item, suitable for dress as 
well as combat, it was issued on a prior- 
ity basis. Approximately 5,000 jackets 
were given to each division during the 
winter months as supply permitted."* 

The Fifth Army had hardly issued 
the new items of winter clothing before 
adverse comment was heard about their 
suitability for the alpine climate. The 
Ml 943 jacket, the shoepac, and the sleep- 
ing bag bore the brunt of the criticism. 
On 3 November 1944, the Italian edition 
of Stars and Stripes, which served as a 
sounding board for troops, carried the 
headline: "New Army Issue Doesn't 
Meet Battle Test." In contrast, the 
news release praised the high-neck 
sweater, saying that everyone from 
colonel to private liked his.*'*' Most 
wearers of the Mi 943 sateen jacket 
echoed the sentiments heard at the 
Anzio test. They praised the jacket's 
large pockets, but there was evidence 
that the cotton sateen did not adequately 
resist rain and became heavy when wet. 
In mid-October 1944, a survey of men 
being evacuated through divisional 
clearing stations revealed dissatisfaction 
with the shoepac. It was too wide, and 
was especially uncomfortable in muddy 



^ (1) Journals cited n. 67 (3). (2) Msg, CG Fifth 
Army to CG PBS, 29 Oct 44; Requisition 5A QM- 
199-44-X-i, Sullivan to Bare, 29 Oct 44; Inds, Bare 
to Ramsey, 29 Oct 44; Ltr, McNarney to Truscott, 
24 Dec 44, sub: Issue of Jackets, Field, Pile. All in 
Sullivan Papers. 

^ Memo, Capt E. C. Beyer for Surgeon Fifth 
Army, u Oct 44. Sullivan Papers. 



soil, permitting the foot to slip easily 
inside the rubber shoe until the skin 
was raw and blistered. The sleeping 
bag was also criticized; because the 
front-line soldier could seldom remove 
his shoes, the bag quickly became mud- 
soaked in wet weather. An even more 
serious disadvantage, from the infantry- 
man's point of view, was the temporary 
helplessness of a heavy or broad-should- 
ered man who had to wriggle out of the 
tightly zippered bag if awakened by a 
night alarm. 

Reflecting a marked sensitivity to such 
censure, inspectors at division and army 
level inaugurated their own surveys, but 
these only confirmed the authenticity of 
the adverse reports. The II Corps com- 
mander declared that one sleeping bag 
plus two blankets did not offer as much 
protection as four blankets; the latter 
issue, he added, made it possible for two 
men sleeping together in a pup tent to 
share eight blankets. Fifth Army there- 
fore revised the basis of distribution for 
sleeping bags, issuing them to all except 
troops in the front lines, who slept with 
their boots on. 

By the end of November 1944, the 
problem of the oversized shoepac was 
partially solved by redistribution so as 
to provide each man with shoepacs of 
the same size as his combat boots, and 
by increasing the allowance of ski socks 
and felt inner soles, which provided 
much better insulation and absorbed 
perspiration. Still it was found that the 
lack of arch support in the shoepac pro- 
duced sore feet among infantrymen who 
trudged along in springy rubber soles on 
lengthy marches. Mud also stuck to the 
rubber cleats on the soles, adding exces- 
sive weight. In contrast, the shoepac 
was praised by artillerymen and others 



202 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



in rear areas, where less walking was 
required.^'' 

Near the end of the war, one new QM 
item — a Doron type, lightweight steel 
vest — captured the soldier's imagination. 
It was not available for army-wide issue, 
but the word spread from the few who 
chanced to test it that they would never 
be without their bulletproof vest, if only 
for its psychological effect, in time of 
action. ^^ 

Closely related to the supply of ade- 
quate wet-cold weather clothing was the 
need for portable shelters and heating 
stoves. When the first wintry blasts were 
felt in November 1943 the Fifth Army 
made repeated calls for storage tents to 
replace the inadequate covering over 
field kitchens, for tents where men com- 
ing off extra duty could warm and dry 
themselves and change clothes, and for 
extra shelter halves to be used as ground 
sheets. As the weather worsened and 
shelter halves became scarce, the Fifth 
Army asked SOS NATOUSA for the 
recently standardized mountain tent, a 
two-man unit with a cloth floor and a 



™ (1) Memo, IG Fifth Army for CofS Fifth Army, 
7 Nov 44; Memo, IG Fifth Army for IG ist Armd 
Div, II Nov 44; Ltr, IG 34th Inf Div to IG Fifth 
Army, 18 Nov 44, sub: Shoepacs and Combat 
Jackets; Ltr, IG IV Army Corps to IG Fifth Army, 
22 Nov 44, sub: Complaints Relative to the New 
Shoepac and Field Jacket; Ltr, IG 88th Inf Div to 
IG Fifth Army, 26 Nov 44, sub: Special Winter 
Clothing and Equip; Memo, IG for CofS Fifth Army, 
28 Nov 44; Ltr, Asst IG MTOUSA to IG MTOUSA, 
1 Dec 44, sub: Check Made on New Type Field 
Clothing; Msg 72493, CG Fifth Army to CG PBS, 
22 Dec 44; Msg 9287, CG Fifth Army to CG 
MTOUSA, 25 Jan 45. All in AG 420, Misc 
MTOUSA. (2) Ltr, CG II Corps to CG Fifth Army, 
24 Nov 44, sub: Additional Blankets for Pers. Fifth 
Army, AG 427. 

" Ltrs, Bates to Doriot, 1 Apr, 15 Apr, 3 May 45; 
Ltrs, Doriot to Bates, 21 Apr, 7 May 45. Both in 
OQMG MTO 319.25. 



white reversible lining for snow camou- 
flage.'- 

During the second winter the supply 
of tentage in Fifth Army threatened to 
be inadequate because part of SOS 
NATOUSA's stocks had been contrib- 
uted to Dragoon troops and because the 
Fifth Army was obliged to compete with 
ETOUSA demands at NYPE. Further- 
more, the Fifth Army seemingly was un- 
able to convince support commands that 
its consumption of tentage exceeded War 
Department maintenance factors owing 
to adverse tactical and climatic condi- 
tions. In moimtain operations the con- 
stant relocation of troops was particu- 
larly hard on tentage. In heavy winds 
and damp air frequent pitching and 
striking: of canvas, even when handled 
by a veteran, weakened the tent's fabric. 
Depletion from this cause was aggravated 
by the heavy losses at Anzio where hun- 
dreds of tents were steadily subjected to 
shellfire and bomb fragments for almost 
four months. 

By issuing a single tent to a larger 
group of men — in the case of pyramidal 
tents the basis of issue was changed from 
1 for 6 men to 1 for 8 men — and by a 
notable improvement in SOS NATO- 
USA and Fifth Army salvage procedures, 
enough additional tents were made avail- 
able to avoid an acute shortage. An- 
other help was the stabilized tactical sit- 
uation in the northern Apennines that 
permitted a large-scale winterization of 
living quarters. Buildings were used 
wherever possible; combat troops trans- 



"Ltr and Inds, Clark to Larkin, 15 Oct 43, sub: 
Storage Tents for Kitchens During Winter Opns; 
Ltr, CG VI Corps to CG Fifth Army, 18 Oct 43, sub: 
Tentage; Msg [no number], CG Fifth Army to 
CG NATOUSA, 26 Nov 43; Msg 8607, Clark to 
Larkin, 8 Jan 44. All in Fifth Army, AG 420. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



203 



formed foxholes into reasonably com- 
fortable accommodations; reserves lived 
in pyramidal tents; and hospital corps- 
men provided their field evacuation 
tents with floors and sidewalls. In some 
places the engineers were able to replace 
tents with Nissen huts or prefabricated 
structures.'^ 

Neither tentage nor improvised billets 
could alone provide protection from the 
elements in the northern Apennines, 
where, from December to March, tem- 
peratures dropped below freezing ten to 
fifteen days each month. Many stoves 
^vere needed. The Quartermaster re- 
sponsibility for space heating was 
restricted to tents. "^ To install stoves in 
field hospitals, which always had first 
priority on space heaters, in command 
posts, in shelters where troops dried 
themselves and changed clothes, in 
administrative offices or workshops of 
maintenance units, and in the quarters 
of nurses and Wacs, the Fifth Army cal- 
cidated in the early fall of 1944 that 
more than 14,000 tent-type heating stoves 
would be required. To this estimate 
SOS NATOUSA offered no encourage- 
ment. Middleswart wrote to Sullivan that 
"Additional troops . . . being dumped 
in our laps total considerably more than 
the total number in Fifth Army, so if 
you do not get all of the things to which 
you feel you are entitled, you can readily 
understand." ^^ 



'^ (1) Rads L-46098, L-50002, CG COMZ 
NATOUSA to CG Fifth Army, 8 Oct, 30 Oct 44. 
Sullivan Papers. (2) Memo, CofS Fifth Army for 
CG COMZ NATOUSA, 1 Nov 44. Fifth Army, AG 
424. (3) Fifth Army History, VIII, 24-25. (4) Sul- 
livan MS, p. 141. 

'*Cir 49, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 9 Oct 43. 

'^ Msg, Clark to Pence, 17 Sep 44; quoted from 
Ltr, QM COMZ NATOUSA to QM Fifth Army, 3 
Oct 44. Both in Sullivan Papers. 



On 18 October 1944 Sullivan adjusted 
his basis of issue, reducing it to 12,500 
stoves. Notwithstanding tfiis concession 
and having received less than 8,000 stoves 
by then, the Fifth Army on 19 October 
sent a blunt note to Headquarters, 
NATOUSA: 

This headquarters cannot relax its efforts 
to obtain the stoves ... as it is our firm 
conviction that the efforts of all the supply 
echelons to provide our men with warm 
winter clothing will go for naught unless fa- 
cilities are provided to dry this clothing and 
give combat troops the opportunity to warm 
themselves. . . .'^e 

Over the next few weeks the Fifth 
Army received almost 3,000 more stoves 
from its Neapolitan and Leghorn bases, 
and Sullivan made arrangements to 
secure an additional 4,000 from Italian 
factories around Florence and Pistoia. 
By 20 November 1944 local stoves were 
being delivered, and Fifth Army, now 
more confident that its requirements 
would be met, indulged in the rare prac- 
tice of voluntarily canceling about two- 
thirds of its stove requisitions at SOS 
NATOUSA." 

While the new clothing and equip- 
ment of the December 1943 and June 
1944 T/E 21 were imperfect in some 
respects, and standard items could not 
always be delivered when and where 
they were needed, troops in the northern 
Apennines were undoubtedly better 
clothed and equipped than those who 
had fought in the valleys and mountains 
beside the Volturno and Garigliano 
Rivers in the winter of 1943-44. With 



■"■ Msg 6369, Clark to Devers, 19 Oct 44. Sullivan 
Papers. 

^^ Msgs 1701 and 3526, G-4 Fifth Army to CG 
MTOUSA, 7 Nov, 20 Nov 44. Sullivan Papers. 



204 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



staged supply working to perfection out 
of Naples and Leghorn, the Fifth Army's 
complaints subsided, replacement rates 
dropped, quality improved, and trench 
foot casualties dropped 70 percent. Such 
statistics were all the more impressive in 
view of the fact that the weather was 
severer during the winter of 1944-45 
than in the previous one and that the 
number of combat troops in the Fifth 
Army in 1944-45 was greater by more 
than one division than in 1943-44. 

The effect on Mediterranean Quarter- 
master supply of the loss of three vet- 
eran U.S. divisions to Seventh Army in 
France and the gain of three uninitiated 
divisions, arriving with new equipment, 
is not known. But certainly tactical 
factors — in contrast to those in north- 
western Europe at the time — were in- 
fluential in Sullivan's improved supply 
situation. The Mi 943 items had just 
been issued when the Fifth Army pulled 
most of its strength from the line. The 
stabilized front from 2 November 1944 
to 1 April 1945 permitted troops to dig 
in and construct crude but comfortable 
quarters from empty shell cases, food 
containers, and scrap materials. Rest 
hotels opened in Florence and Monte- 
catini. With regrouping going on after 
2 November 1944, troops rotated in and 
out of static front lines to reserve areas 
where they could obtain better food, 
baths, and clean clothes.^* 

Outfitting the DRAGOON Forces 

As already noted, the three U.S. divi- 
sions that landed in southern France 
were all carefully re-equipped at Naples 



before embarking, and the Seventh 
Army quartermaster had provided a 
clothing reserve for each unit. As the 
divisions advanced inland, they con- 
tinued to send their own organic trucks 
back to the beaches for rations, POL, 
and ammunition, but clothing and 
equipment were not needed in signifi- 
cant quantities, and are not even men- 
tioned in unit reports. Class II and IV 
supplies therefore piled up at the beaches 
and in Marseille. By 18 September 3,198 
tons had been received, and only 387 
tons issued, including 121 tons to base 
troops. But by this time the rapid ad- 
vance had carried the combat units into 
an entirely different climatic zone, nearly 
400 miles from the coast. During the 
next week, 1,065 tons of Class II and IV 
supplies were issued from continental 
base section dumps. The most critical 
items, blankets and overcoats, were 
shipped by air, and by 26 September 
Seventh Army's initial requirements had 
been filled." 

French units in southern France did 
not fare so well. Since some embarked 
from North Africa and others from 
British-administered ports in southern 
Italy, there were difficulties in inspect- 
ing the units before embarkation, and 
some sailed with incomplete equipment. 
Difficulties in co-ordination between 
U.S. agencies and French Base 901, which 
was theoretically responsible for supply 
of French units, have already been men- 
tioned. The system whereby Seventh 
Army supplied ist French Army was 
not very efficient, and became even less 
so after GONAD, an additional link in 



™ (1) QM Fifth Army, pp. 82- 
History, VIII, 23-25, 42-45, 48. 



'» (1) See p. 120, above. (2) GONAD History, 
(2) Fifth Army I, 60; II, 520. (3) Unit histories, 3d, 36th QM Com- 
panies. Hist Br OQMG. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



205 



the chain of supply, was established on 
1 October. The deteriorating situation 
was given dramatic emphasis when, at 
about the same time. General de Lattre 
de Tassigny announced that unless wool 
clothing could be provided immediately 
for his troops he would be forced to 
withdraw them from combat. *° Investi- 
gation revealed that at least part of the 
trouble could be traced to the inexperi- 
ence and dilatory operating methods of 
French Base 901. Although seriously 
understrength, that organization had 
been forced to split its staff between 
Marseille and Dijon. On 12 September 
Brig. Gen. Georges Granier became its 
new commander, and he arrived at Dijon 
four days later. During the following 
week Granier, General Wilson of 
GONAD, and General de Lattre de Tas- 
signy reached an agreement. Granier 
would become Wilson's deputy, and the 
two supply organizations would be com- 
pletely integrated, except for Base 901 's 
special responsibilities to the French 
Forces of the Interior and its local pro- 
curement functions. The new com- 
bined headquarters, still known as 
GONAD, would support Seventh Army 
and ist French Army directly, on an 
equal basis. Actual issues of clothing 
and equipment by GONAD during the 
period 2 October-31 December 1944 de- 
monstrate that the Americans more than 
lived up to their agreement. A total of 
6,144.3 long tons of QM Glass II and IV 
supplies were issued to a force which 



*• (1) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 43, 
"Quartermaster Operations in GONAD." (2) Dr. 
Marcel Vigneras, an authority on supply to the 
French, has never heard of this episode. He sug- 
gests that de Lattre was referring to his French 
Forces of the Interior units, which were not officially 
entitled to U.S. support. Interv, Ross with Vigneras, 
20 .^ug 58. 



grew quickly from 350,000 men in Oc- 
tober to 618,775 T^en at the end of the 
year. The breakdown of issues was as 
follows: to Seventh Army, 1,263.3; to 
base troops, 1,775.8; to ist French 
Army, 2,900.4; to air forces (U.S. and 
French), 205. 8. ^^ Thus it can be seen that 
1st French Army received more than 
twice as much clothing and equipment 
as Seventh Army. Moreover, about 11 
percent of base troops were French, and 
an undetermined proportion of German 
prisoners and Italian service personnel, 
also included among base troops, were 
supporting the French military effort. 
In addition to making good the shortages 
in initial equipment of their units, these 
heavy requirements undoubtedly reflect 
the unofficial support the French were 
providing to volunteer units with their 
army.^2 

Local Procurement 

Along the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean, support and combat quarter- 
masters alike had to dismiss thoughts of 
setting up an elaborate and centralized 
purchasing system for Glass II and IV 
items. Many complications were in- 
volved in this method of supply. Since 
industrial facilities, skilled technicians, 
and basic raw materials were scarce, if 
available at all, quartermasters made no 
concerted effort to procure locally such 
end items as trousers, shoes, towels, and 
jerricans. When facilities were intact, 
labor was often lacking; when labor was 
available, raw materials might be unob- 



»' (1) GONAD History, I, 82-83; II. 534-631. (2) 
Vigneras, Rearming the French, pp. 187-88. (3) 
Official Diary for CG Seventh Army, vol. II, 15 .Aug 
44 to 31 Jan 45, entry for 1 Oct 44. OGMH. 

^ See above, ch. IV. 



206 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



tainable. Thus, soapmakers in Casa- 
blanca had peanut oil and wood ash, but 
caustic soda had to be imported before 
quartermasters could obtain a suitable 
cleansing agent. Seamstresses in Bizerte 
made nurses' undergarments from linen 
fabric, but nurses preferred silk under- 
wear. 

A factory in Tunis was capable of 
manufacturing bungs for 55-gallon 
drums, but the company needed scrap 
aluminum that lay miles away in a sal- 
vage yard.*^ The local purchase of office 
furniture for Headquarters, AFHQ, was 
a constant source of worry to its quarter- 
master purchasing and contracting offi- 
cer. In Algiers, special missions, plan- 
ning groups, and staff sections were con- 
stantly being organized and reorganized, 
and the prompt delivery of furniture 
and office equipment was ordered rather 
than requested. The purchasing officer 
described his difficulties this way: ** 

Supply of many raw materials has been 
extremely limited and it has usually been 
necessary to obtain these . . . with neces- 
sary releases from agencies of the French 
Civil Government for the manufacturers. 
For instance, before letting a contract for 
manufacture of a few items of furniture it 
has been found necessary to locate a manu- 
facturer to fabricate required articles, deter- 
mine kind and amount of material neces- 
sary, locate the supply of lumber, glue, 
nails, finishing materials, arrange release of 
each of these materials from individual Con- 
trol Boards, provide transportation for these 
materials, and provide transportation for 
the finished products. 

Suggesting that this was more typical 
than exceptional, the officer estimated 



« (1) Hist QM ABS, p. 20. (2) Hist Rpts, OQM 
EBS. Mar-May 44. AG 314.7, Mil Hist EBS-MTO. 

«* Memo, P&C Off Hq Comd AFHQ for Maj Mur- 
dock, ist Gen Depot, 21 May 43. AG 400.12 NASC, 
1943-45- 



that each of the 1,334 vouchers he had 
handled to date, covering the purchase 
of 2,000 different items and services, re- 
quired an average of at least ten personal 
contacts. 

After the invasion of Sicily, quarter- 
masters had an added incentive to live 
off the shores and islands of the western 
Mediterranean. Strategically, their war 
no longer enjoyed a favorable supply 
priority. Quartermasters assembling at 
Naples in late 1943 understood this situa- 
tion and more and more officers became 
conversant with local procurement mat- 
ters. Quartermasters found that Italy 
was a better source for Class II and IV 
items than North Africa and Sicily. 
Naples ultimately restored fifty factories 
as a basis of local procurement, but only 
after early difficulties were resolved. 

Early contact with manufacturers was 
essential to ameliorate such conditions. 
But this was difficult for purchasing 
agents who did not speak the language 
or understand Italian business methods. 
Interpreters with an appreciation of the 
urgency and size of a military purchase 
were hard to find. Asked to assist in 
locating someone to make 50,000 Fifth 
Army insignia, one interpreter escorted 
a purchasing agent into the back alleys 
of Naples in his search for the homes of 
seamstresses and the shops of tailors. 
Such shops, the contractor found, could 
each produce only ten to thirty shoulder 
patches in a day. At this rate delivery 
would be completed in three months. 
Fortunately, the quartermaster with 
this mission found a Caserta manu- 
facturer who could make 50,000 insignia 
in a week. By July 1945 this company 
had turned out five million shoulder 
patches.^^ 



^Hist QM PBS, p. 219. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



207 



A war of attrition produces a change 
in the attitude of a spigot quartermaster, 
who much prefers the routine of staged 
supply. While at Caserta — twenty-five 
miles away from Naples by the daily 
train — Sullivan encouraged his staff and 
divisional quartermasters to turn the 
modest resources of the countryside to 
their use. Graves registration officers 
especially, Sullivan believed, would bene- 
fit thereby, chiefly on the grounds that 
the added task of purchasing goods local- 
ly would prove a welcome diversion from 
the duties normally performed by these 
officers. The plan took root and more 
and more divisional rosters listed "pur- 
chasing and contracting officer" beside 
the name of the graves registration offi- 
cer. As they moved aroimd the coimtry- 
side, these men under two hats cheer- 
fully reported what items could be 
locally procured. 

When Fifth Army was deadlocked 
south of Cassino and the mountains re- 
sisted even the versatile jeep, Sullivan 
sought packboards which would enable 
the soldier to carry ammimition, water, 
rations, and medical supplies on his 
back. Although the army quartermas- 
ter's office recruited local manufacturers 
who during the campaign produced 
45,000 packboards, the Italians first had 
to be supplied with canvas and wood 
and taught assembly line production 
methods. Just as caustic soda had to be 
imported for Casablanca soapmakers, a 
large Florentine cleansing agent manu- 
facturer could not resume soap produc- 
tion until Sullivan supplied fats and 
greases from the Fifth Army's company 
kitchens. Similiarly, Sullivan needed 
100,000 pieces of tableware for rest 
camps, but the contract went unfilled 
until he sent several hundred tons of 



coal to the Sesto kilns to fire the porce- 
lain. 

By Salerno's first anniversary, factories 
in Naples and Rome had been turned to 
full account in providing quartermaster 
goods and services. Each week a foundry 
in Naples produced 14,000 bungs for 55- 
gallon drums, a hosiery mill manufac- 
tured 150,000 shoulder patches and over- 
seas stripes, and a glass works turned out 
75,000 drinking tumblers. In Rome, 
where there were no major depots, quar- 
termasters emphasized services to the 
troops, operating laundries, dry cleaning 
plants, and shoe, typewriter, clothing, 
and tentage repair shops. ^"^ 

Around Leghorn and Florence vari- 
ous manufacturing facilities were con- 
verted to military uses and procurement 
opportunities were fully exploited. A 
few of the items obtained were hospital 
bed trays, mattresses, cotton thread, in- 
ner soles for shoepacs, coat hangers, mili- 
tary decorations, sleds, skis, and snow- 
shoes. One stove factory turned out 
heating units for pyramidal tents and 
mess gear refinished in nickel plate. A 
woodworking shop replaced broken 
shovel handles; a steam pressing plant in 
Florence, supervised by an American 
corporal, employed more than forty 
women to press and patch 4,000 shirts 
and trousers daily. A Florentine indus- 
trialist developed a reputation for versa- 
tility and adaptability to mass produc- 
tion techniques by making 10,000 ice 
creepers for a mountain division, 45,000 
cigarette lighters out of empty shell 
cases, 8,000 stoves, and 50,000 stovepipes. 
When this same manufacturer could not 
produce convoy flags or boxing togs, his 



*" Memo, QM for G-4 PBS, 1 1 Sep 44, sub: Com- 
pilation of Data for G-4 Rpt to War Dept. G-4 
MTOUSA, 319.1. 



208 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



sister, who was better known in the com- 
munity as a corsetiere, filled the order in 
record time.^^ 

For a variety of reasons, local procure- 
ment of clothing and equipment for U.S. 
units in southern France was very nearly 
nil. First of all, the area had been thor- 
oughly exploited by the Germans and 
was so short of clothing that AFHQ plan- 
ning for the Anvil operation had in- 
cluded 300,000 blankets and 350,000 sets 
of Red Cross relief clothing for civilian 
use. Clearly, any far-reaching local pro- 
curement program would have to await 
the arrival of imported raw materials 
and the rehabilitation of mines and fac- 
tories. Steps were taken as quickly as 
possible, but before concrete results 
were achieved the area had come under 
the jurisdiction of ETOUSA, whose 
local procurement activities are described 
below. A second major consideration 
was the priority claimed by the French 
armed forces within their own territory. 
Supplies actually on hand were requisi- 
tioned by the volunteers who joined 
First French Army immediately after the 
landing, and proved to be quite inade- 
quate even for these units. Moreover, 
such productive capacity as existed was 
earmarked to support the activation of 
additional French units, an overly ambi- 
tious program undertaken for reasons 
of prestige despite the opposition of 
SHAEF. In any event, French produc- 
tion never reached expectations, and 
while a considerable number of replace- 



ments for French units and a few new 
units were recruited in metropolitan 
France, virtually all their clothing and 
equipment had to be provided from 
other Allied sources.** 

Clothing and Equipment for Allies and 
POW's 

The same groups drawing rations 
from the Americans looked to them for 
a certain amount of clothing and equip- 
ment. Plans to rearm and supply Allied 
forces were on the agenda of the Casa- 
blanca Conference in January 1943, 
when the decision was made to equip 
eleven French divisions. Subsequent 
conferences throughout the year con- 
firmed the general agreement. It was 
understood that initial supplies for all 
such forces would be shipped from the 
United States and specifically earmarked 
for delivery to Allied groups. Since the 
French forces, to be followed by the 
Brazilian and Italian, were organized in 
conformity with American T/O&E's, it 
would be feasible to provide various 
items of supply on the same basis and 
from the same supply points as those 
for American forces. As much as pos- 
sible, AFHQ hoped that the duplication 
of supply channels would be obviated.*^ 

Theoretically, this system left Ramsey 
and Middleswart responsible only for 
providing American clothing and equip- 
ment on a replacement basis, but when 
the special stocks from the United States 
were delayed these forces had to be 



^' (1) "Italian Factories Serve Fifth Army," 
QMTSJ (30 March 1945), p. 8; "Fifth Army QM's 
Reopen Italian Soap Plant," QMTSJ (4 May 1945), 
p. 28. (2) Hist QM ABS, p. 20. (3) Memo, Depot 
QM for G— 4 Fifth Army, 14 Mar 45, sub: Rpt on 
Ginori Situation. Sullivan Papers. (4) Sullivan MS, 
PP- 157-58. 



^ (1) See below, ch. XVII. (2) Vigneras, Rearming 
the French, pp. 335-38, 347-50. (3) Komer, Civil 
Affairs, ch. XXI. 

**" (1) Vigneras, Rearyning the French, ch. II. (2) 
Hist of Ping Div ASF, vol. II, pt. IV, pp. 227!!. 
OCMH. (3) Logistical History of NATOUSA- 
MTOUSA, pp. 366-67, 374-75. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



209 



equipped with supplies from available 
reserves. In the summer of 1944 the 
Brazilians, for example, had to be pro- 
vided Avith field ranges, spare parts, one- 
burner stoves, service caps, helmets and 
leggings, ammunition bags, and mattress 
covers. ^° Because of too little demon- 
stration in the use of quartermaster 
items some misuse and mishandling re- 
sulted. Instruction sheets, printed in 
English, meant nothing to Brazilian 
supply personnel. The Brazilian uni- 
form had not been designed for the 
cold weather frequently encountered in 
northern Italy and did not include items 
comparable to the American wool knit 
caps, gloves, and sweaters. The soldier's 
needs increased still more Avhen woolen 
underwear and socks proved inferior 
and had to be replaced by American 
garments. Later, combat suits and 
kersey-lined trousers were supplied as 
organizational equipment, making it 
possible for the Brazilian commander 
to transfer these items as needed. By 
mid-February 1945 there was no longer 
any doubt that the Brazilians could 
scarcely, meet their minimum needs. 
American quartermasters in consequence 
undertook to supply them with almost 
everything a soldier wore beneath and 
outside of his shirt and trousers. ^^ 



Soon after Italy's surrender in Sep- 
tember 1943, SOS NATOUSA prepared 
elaborate tables authorizing the com- 
plete supply of Italian service units with 
all their personal and organizational 
equipment, and an attempt was made 
to use whatever distinctive clothing was 
found in Italian depots. So long as the 
latter was available, American quarter- 
masters provided only the items needed 
for specific work.^^ Shortages included 
pyramidal and individual tents, woolen 
gloves, wool knit caps, raincoats, and 
overshoes. Since Italian hobnailed foot- 
wear was a fire hazard around POL 
dumps, the Quartermaster Corps fur- 
nished smooth-soled American shoes to 
men working at such installations. Un- 
fortunately for the Italian soldiers, the 
clothing which was inadequate for the 
wet weather was too warm in summer. 
Relief was nowhere in sight, for the 
Italians were unable to provide a lighter 
substitute and the American supply of 
cotton khaki did not permit the diver- 
sion of any part of it to cobelligerent 
forces. ^^ 

Determined that assistance to the 
Italians should not add to the burden 
of imports into the theater, American 
quartermasters gave them mostly second- 



^ (1) Supply Memo 54, Hq PBS, 26 Jul 44, sub: 
Supply of Brazilian Units; Ltr, Lt Col John R. Cur- 
rey to G-3 Sec Fifth Army, 21 Aug 44, sub: Inspec- 
tion—Combat Team BEF. Sullivan Papers. (2) Lo- 
gistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, p. 374. 
(3) Rpt, 1st Inf Div BEF, 16 Jul 44-May 45. 
OCMH. 

« (1) Msg 4319, MTOUSA to CG Fifth Army, 3 
Dec 44; Ltr, CG Fifth Army to CG ist BID, 11 Jan 
45. Both in Fifth Army, AG 420. (2) Memo, CG 
ist BID for CG Fifth Army, 24 Dec 44. IV Corps, 
AG 400. (3) Ltr, Maj G. H. Munn to CG USAFSA, 
27 Feb 45, no sub. Fifth Army, AG 3191. (4) Ltr, 
CQM MTOUSA to QM PBS, 18 Feb 45, sub: U.S. 
Individual C&E for Brazilian Repls. Sullivan Papers. 



»" (1) T/E, Italian Units, Hq SOS NATOUSA, 
19 Oct 43. OQMG MED 319.25. (2) Ltr, Deputy 
CofS NATOUSA to CG Fifth Army, 31 Jul 44, sub: 
Supply of Italian Armed Forces; Admin Instr 9, 
Army Sub-Comm (MMIA), 12 Aug 44, sub: Supply 
of Italian Army. Sullivan Papers. 

^ (1) Ltr, CO 337th Engr GS Rgt to Clark, 17 
Mar 44, sub: Request for Tentage for Italian 
Troops. Fifth Army, AG 424. (2) Ltr, ExO 204th 
QM Bn (M) to Sullivan, 6 Aug 44, sub: Issue of 
Shoes for Italian Soldiers; Ltr, CO 1108th Engr 
Combat Group to CG Fifth Army, 10 Jan 45, sub: 
Clothing for Italian Unit; Ltr, CO 6th Mil Guards 
Regt to Hq 210th Inf [Italian] Div, 16 Jan 45, sub: 
Status of 512th Guards Bn. All in Sullivan Papers. 



210 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



hand items unsuitable for further use 
by U.S. troops or beyond the facilities 
of the salvage repair program. Dyed 
spruce green and stripped of distinctive 
buttons and rank and organizational in- 
signia, such clothing was delivered to 
the repair installations of the Italian 
Army and put into the flow of Italian 
supply. 

To a lesser extent quartermasters fur- 
nished clothing to Italian civilians who 
worked for the Americans.^* Just as 
noon meals or extra ration allowances 
served as incentives for recruiting native 
civilians in North Africa and Italy, so 
did blue denim suits, black wool shirts 
and trousers, and Class C shoes add to 
the attractiveness of the jobs offered. 
Early in Torch planning, the Ameri- 
cans had foreseen the need for local 
labor. Thus quartermasters brought 
with them cotton goods to be used in 
partial payment for such services. As 
stocks of used clothing accumulated, 
their judicious distribution in areas 
where consumer goods were at a pre- 
mium was actually an act of economy 
and enlightened self-interest. 

In southern France, as already noted, 
some 225,000 troops of First French Army 
were included in the approved troop 
basis, and were clothed and equipped 
by American quartermasters. Members 
of the French Forces of the Interior in 
the Dragoon area and young volunteers 
who joined the French units numbered 
over 100,000 more, but without proper 
authority it was impossible to provide 
them with supplies of any kind. Gen- 
erals Devers and de Lattre urged that 



60,000 be added to the troop basis, but 
SHAEF demurred. The Frenchmen all 
wanted to fight, but the current need 
was for service troops. At the end of 
September, the Americans provided 
combat equipment for 12,000 recruits, 
but there was no corresponding conces- 
sion from the French. The distaste of 
their men for duty with service units 
was genuine, and was reinforced by the 
conviction that only a large French fight- 
ing force, engaged in actual combat 
against the Germans, could restore the 
damaged prestige of France. Since these 
troops were not being used in accord- 
ance with the wishes of SHAEF head- 
quarters, any support they received had 
to come from the meager resources of 
liberated France. Their status was 
rather similar to that of the "ITI-ITI's" 
already described. 

Because of the shortage of French 
labor, the Americans enlarged their orig- 
inal plans to use Italian units in south- 
ern France, ultimately bringing in about 
28,000 who were also employed in the 
north. The ISU personnel required 
additional clothing in the severe winters 
of central and eastern France. Another 
source of labor \vas German prisoners, 
most of whom needed to be completely 
re-equipped before they could be put to 
work. The GONAD labor force at the 
end of 1944 was composed of the fol- 
lowing: ^^ 

U.S. service units 32,194 

French service units 7,003 

Italian service units 10,350 

POWs 8,350 

Civilian employees 3,162 

Securing clothing and equipment for 



">* Ltr, Actg AG AFHQ to All Concerned, 22 Sep 
44, sub: Supply of Italian Armed Forces. QM 
400.3295, NASC. 



'•' GONAD History II, 623. 



OUTFITTING THE MEDITERRANEAN TROOPS 



211 



non-American personnel was an ex- 
tremely difficult problem, and no com- 
pletely satisfactory solution was ever 
found. The little that actually became 
available for this purpose was principally 
captured enemy material, and is dis- 
cussed in Chapter XX, below. 

Combat experience with clothing and 
equipment in the Mediterranean theater 
antedated similar experience in western 
Europe by nearly two years, and un- 
doubtedly influenced plans and pro- 
cedures in the latter area. But the les- 
sons of Mediterranean experience were 
complicated and unclear, and were sub- 
ject to differing interpretations, as ex- 
emplified by the Sullivan-Middleswart 
controversy and by later differences of 
opinion between the OQMG and the 
Office of the Chief Quartermaster, ETO. 
These disagreements involved replace- 
ment rates as well as basic clothing de- 
sign, but the latter subject of debate 
always tended to be the major area of 
conflict. Probably the explanation is 
that a uniform is an extremely personal 
category of equipment. Under condi- 
tions of tension, an individual tends to 
become convinced that a particular uni- 
form either reduces or aggravates the in- 
evitable bodily discomforts of combat, 
and he often favors what he knows best. 



Conversely, he may have preconceived 
prejudices against familiar items, and 
accept makeshift substitutes too readily. 
Time and experience are the only re- 
liable antidotes for such errors, and un- 
fortunately there was never enough time 
for deliberate, thorough testing in the 
Mediterranean theater. In this connec- 
tion, it should be noted that the Mi 943 
uniform was not based on Mediter- 
ranean experience, but upon an ap- 
praisal of Mediterranean requirements 
formulated in the zone of interior. This 
was normal and even desirable. Most 
combat zone innovations are stopgaps 
and minor modifications. Really new 
ideas usually originate at research cen- 
ters, and not in the heat of battle. But 
once conceived, a promising new con- 
cept deserves development, and espe- 
cially combat-testing, as speedily as pos- 
sible. To miss the opportunity for such 
a test through procrastination, exces- 
sively elaborate staff co-ordination, or 
niggling perfectionism is an irretriev- 
able blunder. For Class II and IV spe- 
cialists, the main lesson to be derived 
from Mediterranean warfare is that an 
overseas theater of modest size repre- 
sents an invaluable testing laboratory, 
to be exploited quickly before the op- 
portunity disappears. 



CHAPTER VIII 



Essential Services to the Line 



In addition to provisioning and 
equipping the American Army, the 
Quartermaster Corps had the collateral 
mission of furnishing services which 
contributed to the welfare and morale 
of the troops, promoted the economy 
of supply, and augmented the labor 
force. In a protracted campaign, serious- 
ly handicapped by shipping shortages 
and by a relatively low supply priority, a 
systematic program of recovery, repair, 
and reissue of all repairable equipment 
was an absolute necessity. Other QM 
services, while provided on a scale that 
appeared luxurious to the less fortunate 
soldiers of other nations, more than 
paid for themselves in terms of health, 
morale, and increased combat efficiency. 
American civilian standards and con- 
cepts of human dignity, sanitation, and 
material comfort were retained in the 
U.S. Army; indeed one could argue that 
they had been reinforced during mili- 
tary training. Under the circumstances, 
the Army would have been shortsighted 
and ^vasteful had it ignored such essen- 
tial services as graves registration, sal- 
vage, baths, and laundries. The highest 
tribute to their worth was indicated by 
postwar plans to integrate these services 
more effectively and permanently into 
the Quartermaster Corps. 



Traditions in Caring for the Dead ' 

In honoring men who give their lives 
on the battlefield, the American Graves 
Registration Service can look back upon 
the ancient Mediterranean world for 
the origin of many of the traditions 
which pervade present burial customs. 
Accounts of funerary rites and of rudi- 
mentary systems of recovery and identi- 
fication occupy an honored place in the 
literary works of the Egyptians, He- 
brews, Greeks, and Romans. Yet, from 
ancient to modern times, homage was 
usually reserved for a famed commander 
or for a group of anonymous dead who 
had saved the day for their people. As 
recently as Napoleon's day most of the 
rank and file had been either cremated 
or buried in unmarked graves, interred 
en masse under mounds of limed earth, 
or dumped unceremoniously into aban- 
doned wells. 

The American soldier was subject to 
the same fate until about a century ago. 
In 1850 Congress created a precedent for 
the establishment of permanent ceme- 
teries abroad when it appropriated 



' Except where otherwise noted, this section is 
based on a monograph written by Edward Steere, 
Graves Registration Service in World War II QMC 
Historical Studies, 21 (Washington, 1951). 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



213 



funds for the erection of a Mexican War 
shrine. It stood at the head of a com- 
mon grave wherein 750 American dead 
were interred after they had been ex- 
humed from their battlefield graves 
along the road to Mexico City. Today 
this monument stands as a reminder 
that American burial procedures of that 
day were hopelessly inadequate. In 
1862, for the first time, the United States 
took steps to provide each of its soldier 
dead with ^vhat might be regarded as 
an individual shrine in the midst of a 
larger, if less personal, national ceme- 
tery. 

In 1876 another step was taken. The 
Secretary of War formally charged the 
Quartermaster General with the respon- 
sibility of supervising the national ceme- 
tery system, and centralized all mor- 
tuary records in the Quartermaster's De- 
partment. Unquestionably, the records 
themselves began to acquire a more pro- 
found meaning to those ^vho analyzed 
them than was attached to a mere file 
of the names and ranks of deceased 
soldiers. The burial lists not only ful- 
filled their role of building morale 
among the relatives and friends of the 
dead, but as time passed these records 
also came to have considerable value as 
operational statistics. Gradually, all 
echelons of command built up figures 
on their loss experiences, and this in- 
formation entered more and more into 
plans for providing replacements. Com- 
manders began to realize that it was to 
their advantage to perfect procedures 
for the recovery and identification of 
the dead. Metal identification tags had 
been sold to individual soldiers during 
the Civil War, and were officially spon- 
sored at the regimental level within 
many units during the Spanish-Ameri- 



can War. That conflict demonstrated 
the need for a uniform. Army-wide pro- 
cedure, and a general order of 1906 
directed the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment to issue an aluminum identifica- 
tion tag to each officer and enlisted 
man.^ The end of the war with Spain 
marked another precedent in that pains 
were taken to return as many of the 
dead as possible from an overseas 
theater, a program that was greatly ex- 
panded after World Wars I and II. 

World War I brought a theater graves 
registration service into being. For the 
first time such a service provided units 
to act in direct support of combat troops 
and a headquarters staff section at the 
chief quartermaster's level to keep sys- 
tematic mortuary records and to super- 
vise the maintenance of temporary 
cemeteries. In 1924, a series of regula- 
tions appeared in the Army Regulation 
series 30, representing a serious effort to 
evaluate the lessons of World War I. 
The authors attempted to anticipate 
future demands for such a wartime serv- 
ice and to define the mission that a 
chief quartermaster would have under 
a theater commander. These regula- 
tions further called for the development 
of a specialized service unit suited to 
carry out the necessary work in the field. 
Nevertheless, American graves registra- 
tion service on the eve of Pearl Harbor 
had made only a few paper improve- 
ments over the system of 1917 and 1918.3 

When the United States became in- 



"^ GO 204, 20 December 1906. 

^ By early 1945 the following regulations governed 
burials and graves registration in the Seventh Army 
area: TM 10-630, AR 600—50, AR 30—1805, AR 30— 
1810, AR 30-1815, AR 30-1820, AR 30-1825, AR 
30-1840; WD Cirs 79. 195, 206, 235 (1943); COM- 
ZONE ETOUSA SOP 26. 



214 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



volved in World War II an overseas 
quartermaster had two primary tools to 
carry out his graves registration mission. 
The first was a regularly constituted 
service unit. Based on T/O 10-297, 
dated 1 November 1940, a QM graves 
registration company, consisting of a 
headquarters section and four platoons, 
was theoretically to support a corps of 
three divisions. It had an aggregate 
strength of 130, of whom five were 
officers. They were not responsible for 
the collection of battlefield dead. This 
mission remained with tactical units. 
The other tool, Technical Manual 10- 
630, appeared on 23 September 1941, at 
a time when neither a G-i nor a G-4 
oflicer at any staff level clearly under- 
stood which officer would have the over- 
all supervision of the burial function 
within a command. Unfortunately, the 
1941 manual failed to reflect German 
field experience after the speedy vic- 
tories over Poland, France, and Norway. 
By the time of Pearl Harbor, German 
doctrine had developed to the point 
where graves registration service, in both 
its command and staff arrangement, was 
placed at the highest field level.* The 
German system had the dual advantage 
of building morale at home and of pro- 
viding operational data. German man- 
uals repeatedly warned every com- 
mander of the danger of allowing graves 
registration service troops to become cal- 
loused or emotionally disturbed because 
of their tasks. Staffs of supervisory per- 
sonnel were to be changed frequently, 
rested, and returned to the field, but 
never to their old duties. In contrast, 
American graves registration service re- 



mained a staff function and the major 
advantage it enjoyed over other field 
work was that of having little, if any- 
thing, to unlearn. 

Development of Graves 
Registration Service 

The fighting forces of 1942 and early 
1943 in Bataan, the Solomons, and 
North Africa were obliged to improvise 
their graves registration service at every 
step. Torch field orders specified that 
tactical units would collect and bury 
their own dead, that graves were to be 
carefully marked and reported to unit 
commanders, that unit commanders 
would provide the blanks for reporting 
burials, and that unit commanders were 
to make frequent checks to see that the 
troops had identification tags, properly 
marked and worn. Plans for the West- 
ern Task Force included the assignment 
of the recently activated 46th and 47th 
Graves Registration Companies, but be- 
cause of shipping restrictions these units 
remained behind in the United States. 
Consequently, graves registration be- 
came an added responsibility of combat 
commanders whose primary concern was 
with their living men. Before sailing, 
most commanders had no time to famil- 
iarize themselves with TM 10-630 or the 
AR 30 series of 1924. In fact, most of 
this literature was not in unit files at 
sailino: time. Even with it, commanders 
would have been handicapped because 
there was no over-all staff agency to in- 
terpret the procedures or supervise a 
graves registration service.^ 

On 8 November 1942, French resist- 



* Service Regulations for the Armed Forces Graves 
Registration Officer, 25 January 1942. OKVV-1642- 
GRS. 



'^ Ltr, Pounder to Cowles, 4 Apr 43. OQMG MED 
3'9-25- 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



215 



ance demanded the undivided attention 
of Torch commanders. Unit chaplains 
handled graves registration with the as- 
sistance of noncommissioned officers and 
enlisted men from either the combat 
elements or medical detachments. After 
action reports revealed that commanders 
objected to the employment of combat 
soldiers for the recovery and burial of 
their o^vn dead, and desired the assim- 
ment of specialized graves registration 
units. At Oran, McNamara, after his 
(i-3 had disapproved a graves registra- 
tion platoon on his original troop list, 
was immediately confronted with the 
task of reburying 400 dead who had 
been slaughtered in Oran Harbor. On 
the outskirts of Oran he selected a site 
near a civilian cemetery, obtained the 
services of engineers, and turned the de- 
tailed ^vork over to an assistant, who 
laid out the military cemetery at Sidi 
Chami and supervised and reported the 
burials. The assistant had one com- 
plaint against TM 10-630. It was ideal 
for the superintendent of Arlington Na- 
tional Cemetery, but worthless for tell- 
ing how a temporary burial ground 
should be laid out.® 

In the hasty planning for Satin Task 
Force, the II Corps did not entirely 
overlook the lessons of the Torch land- 
ings. On 20 December 1942 it distrib- 
uted a three-page pamphlet Avhich out- 
lined procedures to be followed in 
Tunisia. This document stressed stricter 
compliance with the requirement for 
reporting burials and assigned this re- 
sponsibility to a graves registration 
officer ^vho was to be appointed in each 
regiment, separate battalion, or com- 



" (i) McNamara Memoir, pp. 27-28. (2) Pounder 
Rpt, p. 68. 



pany. But this vaguely worded pam- 
phlet made no provisions for the assign- 
ment of burial details, for transporta- 
tion in evacuating the dead, or for 
methods of identifying remains. As in 
Torch, the authors assumed that all 
graves registration officers were familiar 
with the basic manuals. In December 

1942, few, if any, such publications had 
reached the theater. 

Once again, during the Tunisian 
fighting, assignments as graves registra- 
tion officers fell largely to chaplains. 
Only in the Eastern Base Section were 
quartermasters available for this duty 
and even they always performed it in 
addition to other work. Both chaplains 
and base section quartermasters con- 
tinued to lack technically trained per- 
sonnel needed to assist them. In 
Tunisia, Lt. Col. Edward R. Martin, 
Chaplain Corps, became the 1st Infantry 
Division's graves registration officer and 
excerpts from his after action reports 
indicate that his subordinates hired na- 
tive laborers to dig and fill the graves 
and to evacuate the dead by pack train 
to collecting points. Martin reported 
that his chaplains often personally super- 
vised the details of evacuation and 
burial, not infrequently ending their 
work late at night. 

Under this system the II Corps im- 
provised graves registration until early 

1943, when two events alleviated the 
situation. First, the 46th Quartermaster 
Graves Registration Company, which 
had originally been earmarked to make 
the Torch landing in November 1942, 
arrived at Constantine on 2 March 1943. 
Working under the supervision of the 
II Corps G-i, one platoon of the 46th, 
perhaps the first to be committed in the 
war with Germany, supported the 1st 



216 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Division in the Gafsa-El Guettar sector 
from 16 March to 6 April 1943. Sec- 
ondly, coincident with the 46th's appear- 
ance, NATOUSA announced a theater 
graves registration service on 1 April 
1943- To head it, Middleswart later 
named Col. Thomas R. Howard, QMC, 
as theater graves registration service 
officer, and subordinates soon ^vere desig- 
nated in each base section. Colonel 
Howard's duty was to co-ordinate field 
activities and maintain control of the 
theater's burial files. Howard did not 
assign units to combat organizations be- 
cause this was a G-i, NATOUSA, func- 
tion. Graves registration officers within 
divisions and higher units and graves 
registration companies were responsible 
to unit quartermasters who, in turn, co- 
ordinated with a base section quarter- 
master. 

Benefits from the new organization 
were not felt until the II Corps moved 
into northern Tunisia. In the mean- 
time, the graves registration service in 
base sections settled down into operat- 
ing on standard procedures for securing 
mortuary supplies, temporary sites, and 
a mortician's services. But within the 
II Corps there still were not enough 
regularly constituted units, with ade- 
quate transportation, to relieve the com- 
bat troops of their role in graves regis- 
tration. The most advanced positions 
reached by specialists were collecting 
points. While this situation did not 
satisfy those who wanted to spare the 
combat troops the demoralizing experi- 
ence of handling their own dead, the 
establishment of collecting points was a 
giant stride in improving the evacua- 
tion of remains. The system set a prece- 
dent to be adopted in subsequent cam- 
paigns and made for speedier and more 



efficient identification, which in turn re- 
duced the number of unknown dead. 

Graves registration planning for Sicily 
began early in 1943, before all the les- 
sons of the Tunisian campaign had come 
to hand. The Seventh Army therefore 
studied the shortcomings of Torch and 
hoped that trained Quartermaster graves 
registration platoons would be on hand 
for the invasion of Sicily. Planners also 
had reason to expect that the infantry 
and armored divisions to be redeployed 
from Tunisia would by trial and error 
obtain experience that could be prop- 
erly applied to an amphibious operation. 
Dated 20 June 1943, plans for Husky's 
task force assigned responsibility to each 
company, battalion, regiment, and divi- 
sion, as well as to hospitals, depots, and 
other separate establishments for the ap- 
pointment of a graves registration officer, 
who, in turn, was to be responsible to 
the unit quartermaster. In addition to 
these staff officers, each subtask force was 
to create a provisional graves registra- 
tion platoon if regularly constituted 
platoons were not available from the 
United States. A provisional platoon 
was to consist of a headquarters and 
three seven-man sections. 

By D-day, six platoons Avere available, 
providing at least one in support of each 
of the assault divisions. Between D-day 
and D plus four, each subtask force, 
with the exception of one infantry divi- 
sion, fielded a platoon from the 48th 
Graves Registration Company. This 
time the continuous evacuation of the 
dead was facilitated by more vehicles. 
The relatively prompt establishment of 
collecting points demonstrated that the 
divisions Avhich came out of Tunisia 
had learned their lessons well. 

In sharp contrast, the uninitiated 45th 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



217 



Infantry Division, which had staged for 
Husky in the United States and only 
briefly touched North Africa, reflected 
its lack of experience. Not until it ar- 
rived at Oran did this unit give serious 
thought to the problem. When the 
division commander finally appointed a 
ojaves registration officer, the man had 
neither the requisite training nor ex- 
perience for his assignment. When he 
distributed mortuary supplies such as 
temporary markers, bed sacks, and per- 
sonal effects bags among the units, they 
failed to understand their use. Further- 
more, the 45th repeated the errors of 
Torch by assigning a special service 
officer and two chaplains as regimental 
graves registration officers — men who by 
profession, temperament, and supply ex- 
perience were the least fitted for the task. 
The 45th also failed to provide vehicles 
or fatigue details at the assault beaches. 
The results were unsatisfactory in the 
extreme and, revie^ving his experience, 
the division graves registration officer 
recommended that for an amphibious 
operation trained platoons together with 
their vehicles should arrive on D-day, 
that graves registration functions should 
be assigned to the division quarter- 
master, and that a special Quartermaster 
service unit should be on hand to dig 
graves. With the exception of the 45th 
Division's graves registration experience, 
the Sicilian campaign marked the end 
of improvisation. 

The Italian campaign taken as a 
whole represents a special case in the 
development of graves registration serv- 
ice. From Salerno to Leghorn the Fifth 
Army used the divisional system of 
evacuating and burying the dead in 
army cemeteries. Combat units evac- 
uated their dead to divisional collecting 



points located very close to Quarter 
master supply points where attached 
graves registration platoons assumed re- 
sponsibility for further identification of 
the remains, prepared mortuary records, 
and attended to burials in army ceme- 
teries. In part the relatively low num- 
ber of isolated burials and a correspond- 
ing high percentage of positive identifi- 
cation in Italy may be attributed to 
Fifth Army's superior planning for the 
use of combat personnel in the recovery 
of 22,953 American dead and to the effi- 
cient evacuation work of the veteran 
46th, 47th, and 48th Graves Registration 
Companies. This system prevailed until 
August 1944 when the companies re- 
verted to army control. In Italy the 
tactical situation also assisted the re- 
covery and evacuation system. Most of 
the battles were positional. Despite 
transport difficulties over mountainous 
terrain, stationary Avarfare favored Quar- 
termaster efforts to restrict isolated 
burials — twelve by V-E Day — and af- 
forded opportunities for identification 
of unknown dead that seldom obtained 
in a war of movement. 

Reconstitution of the Seventh Army 
in June 1944 took VI Corps headquarters 
with three veteran infantry divisions, 
the 3d, 36th, and 45th, for the southern 
France operation. Three platoons of 
the 46th Graves Registration Company, 
each attached to a division, Avere ex- 
pected to evacuate the dead through in- 
dependent collecting points to a division 
cemetery. In the first week ashore, each 
division established a cemetery. Within 
a week of laying out its cemetery, each 
division was sixty miles beyond its col- 
lecting point. Evacuation of the dead 
lagged. On 27 September 1944 the VI 
Corps took action, establishing a cen- 



218 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




Temporary American Cemetery near Cassino. Flag is at half-mast for the late 
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 16 April 1945. 



trally located corps collecting point, and 
thus for a time ended the classic Medi- 
terranean concept of divisional unity. 
After the war of movement was over, 
the corps system was dropped. 

On 5 October, the Seventh Army 
established a cemetery at Epinal. But 
the location was only accessible to the 
VI Corps, not to the XV Corps, which 
with the attached 3041st Graves Regis- 
tration Company recently had been 
shifted from the Third to the Seventh 
Army. Organizationally, the XV Corps 
used an evacuation system different 
from that of the VI Corps. The 3041st 
established a corps collecting point at 
Charmes, and after detailing 43 men to 
handle burial operations at Epinal di- 
vided its remaining strength among de- 
tachments of 5 to 1 1 men for operating 
several collecting points, but they were 
identified more with corps sectors than 
with specific divisional areas. Meantime 



the VI Corps retained its organization 
of platoon attachments to divisions. As 
more and more divisions joined these 
two corps, the development of the 
304ist's method of operations was ar- 
rested. The system of an attached 
graves registration platoon behind each 
division became a uniform one. In ef- 
fect, the Seventh Army adopted the 
battle-tested procedures of the Mediter- 
ranean war. 

Identification Procedures 
and Cemeteries 

While conforming to the humani- 
tarian premises of the Geneva Conven- 
tion, the American Graves Registration 
Service had to provide an evacuation sys- 
tem swift enough to prevent demoraliza- 
tion of troops but slow enough to assure 
the most accurate identification possible. 
Success depended largely on technical 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



219 



competence. Notwithstanding the zeal 
of chaplains who were assigned graves 
registration responsibilities in North 
Africa, untrained combat personnel 
were not qualified and in subsec|uent 
campaigns the task of identification was 
relegated to specialists in the rear. 

Experience in the Tunisian campaign 
demonstrated the need to revise current 
identification procedures. Regulations 
dating back to prewar days provided 
that reports of interment would bear the 
fingerprints of only one hand of the de- 
ceased, while the fingerprint files of The 
Adjutant General's Office and the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation were based 
on mathematical formulae which re- 
quired the prints of both hands. If ten 
prints ^vere available, a positive identi- 
fication could be made by a final search 
of less than 200 separate files, but the 
fingerprints from one hand alone re- 
c]uired a search through many thousands 
of files and presented an unsinmount- 
able task in time of war. By mid-March 
1943 the War Department had sent re- 
vised instructions to all theaters." Nor- 
mally, the existence of two dog tags was 
sufficient to establish a positive identi- 
fication. But men were known to ex- 
change tags and it became customary to 
check a man's tags against his personal 
letters, driver's license, and membership 
cards. If no discrepancies were revealed, 
the body was wrapped in a mattress 
cover and evacuated. The absence of 
dog tags meant the beginning of a wider 
search. After all papers on the body 
were carefully studied, the time and 
place of death were checked against 



operational records to determine which 
unit had been in the area. The likeliest 
parent organization was asked to report 
the names of all missing persons on the 
specified day and to send someone to the 
collecting point to examine the imiden- 
tified body.** 

In addition to the study of tooth 
charts, fingerprints, and other physical 
characteristics, Capt. Steven F. Capasso 
of the 47th Graves Registration Com- 
pany developed new techniques for ob- 
taining legible fingerprints from bodies 
long interred. Another technique made 
it possible to cleanse the clothing of 
those interred as unknowns. Previously 
such garments were disposed of after a 
cursory examination. Upon being 
cleaned, clothes often revealed hidden 
laimdry marks. Because the likelihood 
of duplicating a laundry mark was less 
than one in a c|uarter of a million, this 
was a useful clue to the identity of a 
body. Recognizing the importance of 
such clues, before the Salerno landing 
Truscott ordered his 3d Division in- 
fantrymen to place their serial number 
inside both leggings. 

Reviewing the success of identifica- 
tion procedures, Sullivan and his graves 
registration officer noted that the prob- 
lem of identifying remains taken from 
badly damaged tanks was another that 
had been largely solved, llseful data in- 
cluded the tank's serial number, the 
position of the remains wathin the wreck- 
age, and the status of other crew mem- 
bers. As always, familiarity ^vith the 
units and troops within the area was an- 
other aid in successful identification 
which, by the end of hostilities, had 



^ (1) Ltr, Brig Gen F. N. Pope, Asst QMG. to 
CO ASF, 6 Mar 43, sub: Identification and Burial 
of Deceased. AG 293, WW II, FRC. (2) WD Cir 
79, 1943, sec. 4. 



*Ltr, Ramsey to Littlejohn, 4 Feb 4\. OQMG 
MED 319.25, 



220 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



brought the Fifth Army's factor of "un- 
identified remains" to an all-time low 
of 1.1 percent. 

The final phase in wartime graves 
registration activities involved the burial 
of the dead in accessible and attractive 
temporary cemeteries. Every measure 
was taken to reduce the number of iso- 
lated burials, both by rapid evacuation 
of remains and by constant search for 
and disinterment of those decedents who 
had been individually buried either by 
civilians or the enemy. A limited num- 
ber of isolated burials was inevitable, 
particularly in beachhead operations. 
Center Task Force, for example, buried 
its dead in eight different places during 
the first few days ashore, but McNamara 
concentrated all bodies in military ceme- 
teries at Arzew and Oran before the end 
of the first week. At Gafsa in Tunisia, 
for five dollars in cash and ten pounds 
of tea, a regimental chaplain of the ist 
Infantry Division "bought" a tract of 
land which later became the Gafsa 
cemetery. The effort to minimize iso- 
lated burials was demonstrated again in 
Sicily by the 3d Infantry Division, which 
opened a burial ground at Licata on D 
plus 1, and continued to evacuate re- 
mains to this cemetery until it was a 
hundred miles behind the front. Not 
until the 3d Division reached Palermo 
was another cemetery established. Mean- 
while the 1st Division opened a burial 
site at Gela on D plus 1, and buried, in 
the following three weeks, fifteen hun- 
dred American, Allied, and enemy dead. 
During the eastward thrust of Seventh 
Army, when the enemy retired across the 
Strait of Messina, the attacking divisions 
opened at least five temporary burial 
grounds, one of which, Caronia, later be- 
came the concentrated burial plot. 



To students of military history, a map 
of U.S. military cemeteries in Italy re- 
veals a great deal about the nature of 
the Fifth Army's campaigns. Noting 
that seven of the thirteen cemeteries 
were clustered in the 150 miles between 
Paestum and Anzio, one might correctly 
conclude that actions over this western 
watershed of the Apennines were pro- 
longed and costly. Since the 150-200- 
mile stretch north of Rome included 
only two cemeteries — at Tarquina and 
Follonica — and these largely held the re- 
mains of airmen, it was apparent that the 
Fifth Army had swept to the Arno 
quickly. The Gothic Line battles forced 
the opening of large cemeteries again, at 
Castelfiorentino, Mount Beni, and Mi- 
randola. That there were only half as 
many burial sites along the Gothic Line 
as along the Winter Line may be attri- 
buted to the stabilization of the front as 
well as to the fact that in August 1944 
the Fifth Army had assumed control 
over burial sites as part of a personnel 
economy drive. ^ Similarly, a map of 
France will reveal that, after the initial 
landings east of Marseille, Seventh Army 
encountered little resistance in the 
Rhone valley except at Montelimar. 
Cemeteries at £pinal, at Saint Juan near 
Besan^on, and at Hochfelden near 
Saverne commemorate the Seventh 
Army's winter battles in the Vosges.^" 

In the base sections, a graves registra- 
tion company rarely, if ever, worked as 
a unit in one cemetery. Three of the 
companies which saw the longest service 
in the theater were broken down into 
detachments and platoons and scattered 



* (1) See Map i in Steere, Graves Registration 
Service, p. 91. (2) Hist QM PBS, pp. 260-67. 
Middleswart Papers. 

"Steere, Graves Registration Service, Map 2. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



221 



over widely dispersed locations. The 
47th, which arrived in North Africa in 
the spring of 1943, was subdivided into 
twenty groups, several of which consisted 
of only two enlisted men who were as- 
signed to inactive cemeteries. The 6o2d 
Graves Registration Company detailed 
its members late in the summer of 1943 
to sites throughout eastern Algeria and 
Tunisia. One detachment took over the 
II Corps cemetery on the Mateur-Bedja 
highway, another went to the cemetery 
at Tunis, the third to Constantine, while 
the fourth remained in Mateur with the 
company headquarters to search the 
countryside for isolated graves and to 
evacuate the dead from the many hospi- 
tals nearby. On occasion cemeterial 
work was of an emergency nature. Such 
was the case when elements of the 6o2d 
raced to Bougie, Algeria, in anticipation 
of establishing a cemetery for dead ex- 
pected to be washed ashore from a 
sunken transport. When the unit left 
North Africa, its various detachments 
deployed over a large area, including 
Corsica, the islands of Ischia, Ponza, and 
Ventotene off Naples, and along the 
eastern watershed of Italy. In Novem- 
ber 1944 the 6o2d airlifted several teams 
to Greece, Bulgaria, and Rumania to 
investigate the fate of American pilots 
who failed to return from sorties over 
Balkan oil fields. In Italy, the work was 
shared with the 3044th, the 2611th, the 
2612th, and 2613th Graves Registration 
Companies. Behind Seventh Army, the 
48th, 605th and 610th Graves Registration 
Companies searched the countryside and 
maintained cemeteries in southern 
France. 

Detachments assigned to temporary 
cemeteries conducted all activities ex- 
cept the performance of religious rites. 



In normal cases, they identified the de- 
ceased before the body was evacuated to 
the cemetery. If both dog tags were 
still available, one was left on the body, 
the other nailed to the grave marker. If 
not, embossed metal plates were secured 
to each marker, while copies of the in- 
terment report were placed in sealed 
waterproof containers and deposited in 
each grave. This report contained a 
complete history of the decedent, includ- 
ing all details relative to the manner of 
death, objects found on the body, tooth 
charts, fingerprints, and other pertinent 
information. 

In addition to preparing the bodies 
for and fulfilling the task of burial, and 
mailing personal items to the Quarter- 
master Personal Effects Depot in Kansas 
City, Missouri, cemeterial units beauti- 
fied the grounds as quickly as possible. 
Landscaping, installation of lawn sprin- 
kler and drainage systems, planting of 
shrubbery and trees, erecting of flag- 
poles, and constructing of ways, walls, 
and walks were all part of standard engi- 
neering procedure. Progress was fre- 
quently delayed by adverse weather, in- 
adequate facilities for grading roads, 
lack of trucks for hauling rocks, and the 
limited number of grave markers. 

Although handicapped by scant in- 
formation on men who were missing 
and perhaps buried in isolated graves, if 
indeed the lone casualty was buried at 
all, base section cemeterial units pursued 
all clues as to the whereabouts of such 
soldiers. Sometimes graves were found 
in the fields where wild growth ob- 
scured them from view; others, partic- 
ularly those of air force casualties, were 
occasionally found in small-town ceme- 
teries where bodies of a single crew 
rested in a common grave. Seeking the 



222 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



victims of airplane accidents, graves 
registration troops climbed the rocks and 
peaks of mountains. The successful re- 
moval of bodies from such inaccessible 
places frequently required pack mules 
as well as the strong backs of human be- 
ings. Often searching parties learned 
that battlefield dangers persisted long 
after the combat forces had left. Where 
the fighting was bitter and the snows 
were deep — as in the precipitous peaks 
around Mignano — teams postponed re- 
covery work until spring, when me- 
chanical detectors would work more ef- 
fectively against mines and precaution- 
ary measures could be taken before 
booby-trapped bodies were removed. 
While crossing part of the Anzio beach- 
head which was known to be mined, for 
example, one such party lost three of its 
members as the result of an accidental 
detonation. As late as January 1945 the 
3044th Graves Registration Company at 
the Nettuno cemetery reported that "the 
search of battlefields for and the conduct- 
ing of investigations into the isolated 
burials . . . constitute the intensified 
operational program with which this or- 
ganization was and is still occupied." 
The monthly rate of recoveries and in- 
terments at this one cemetery, by that 
time some. 200 miles behind the front, 
amounted to approximately 100 Ameri- 
can, Allied, and enemy dead. 

Salvage, Recovery, and Repair Programs 

If supply inventories were to be main- 
tained, financial and shipping economies 
effected, and training and intelligence 
advantages gained from captured enemy 
materiel, a systematic procedure for 
recovery, segregation, and classification 
of repairable equipment was indispen- 



sable. In addition to its value for sup- 
plying the combat zone, prisoners of 
war, and direct civilian relief, an active 
salvage program served as a source of 
scrap lead, brass, copper, and rubber, 
vital to production in the United States. 
Scrap metals, paper, and lumber that 
were not needed by American producers 
or by the Army could be sold locally, 
thereby providing a monetary return. 
Such sales were also a small stimulant 
to industrial recovery and personal com- 
fort in North Africa and Italy. Because 
the enemy had swept these areas of raw 
materials, irrepairable salvage usually 
brought high prices. Torn flour sacks 
and worn-out barracks bags sold for one 
dollar each, waste cardboard and paper 
brought five cents per pound, and na- 
tives frequently offered to buy worn 
shoes and clothing at triple the price of 
new articles in the United States. 

The supervision exercised by Ramsey 
at the AFHQ and NATOUSA levels 
and by Middleswart at SOS NATOUSA 
became an integral part of a continuous 
and concerted program calling for the 
prompt recovery, repair, and re-use of 
unserviceable property, whether Allied 
or enemy, and for the utilization of bat- 
tlefield scrap. Throughout the theater 
their supervision in no way relieved the 
commanders of salvage discipline. Or- 
ganizationally, Ramsey was exclusively 
concerned with captured enemy materiel 
and Middleswart with United States 
property. On i March 1943 Middle- 
swart assumed responsibility for the sal- 
vage and disposal of all waste materials 
except lumber, ammunition, and am- 
munition components. The latter two 
materials moved through ammunition 
supply channels, and scrap lumber was 
an Engineer responsibility. Middle- 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



223 



swart set forth the objectives of War 
Department policy, laid do^vn the condi- 
tions to be satisfied, and decentralized 
operations to each base section. ^^ 

A system of categories was set up to 
accelerate the evacuation of salvaged 
properties. New supplies were desig- 
nated as Class A, used but still service- 
able supplies as Class B, and unservice- 
able but repairable property as Class C. 
Supplies that were neither serviceable 
nor fit for reclamation were put in Class 
D. The first three classes were ulti- 
mately retinned to the parent supply 
service for processing and reissue, while 
the quartermaster salvage officer in each 
base section retained Class D. To refine 
salvage procedures still further, priorities 
were set up to govern the recovery of 
Allied and enemy supplies alike. Gen- 
erally, AFHQ assigned jerricans and op- 
tical, signal, and electrical equipment 
the highest value, and the theater com- 
mander ^vas permitted to retain any cap- 
tured materials or equipment he desired 
for training pmposes. 

Before anything could be done with 
salvage it had to be cleared from the 
battlefield. Like all other aspects of 
logistical support, recovery work varied 
with terrain and tactical conditions. In 
a ^var of rapid movement or in moun- 
tain warfare problems ^vere magnified, 
and when combat troops ^vere too busy 
to clear their o\vn sector this respon- 
sibility Avas given over to semimobile 
Quartermaster salvage collection com- 
panies. To effect a smoother transfer, 
a steady effort Avas made to move Quar- 



" (i) QM FM lo-io, QM Service in Theater of 
Operations (Washington, 1942), p. 44. (2) Lo- 
gistical History of NATOUSA-MTOUSA, pp. 414- 
15. (3) Pounder Rpt, p. 63. (4) Ltr, Ramsey to 
Littlejohn, 4 Feb 44. OQMG MED 319.25. 



termaster salvage collectors closer to the 
front and also to lighten their work by 
sending into the advance areas mobile 
salvage repair companies capable of mak- 
ing repairs on the spot. Two other 
types of Quartermaster units — laundry 
companies and sterilization and bath 
companies — became partners in the sal- 
vage program.^- 

Salvage recovery lagged behind all 
other Quartermaster services in North 
Africa. A year after Torch the War 
Department was alarmed at the mount- 
ing piles of unprocessed scrap metal in 
Oran, Bizerte, and Palermo. The scrap 
was not flowing to the United States. 
An Army Service Forces officer arrived 
in Oran to survey the situation and 
found that recovery techniques had long 
been the heart of the problem. He chal- 
lenged NATOUSA's policy of continu- 
ing to make the Quartermaster organiza- 
tion completely responsible for the re- 
covery program. Specialists at Eastern 
Base Section had for a considerable 
period been aware that salvage in 
Tunisia consisted largely of ordnance 
materiel, most of which proved too 
large, too heavy, and too specialized to 
be handled by the two collecting com- 
panies as they were then staffed, 
equipped, and trained. Company four- 
ton salvage Avreckers could not move 
tanks, airplanes, and bridging equip- 
ment from the countryside to major 
roads and from the roads to salvage 
yards. To help them, the collectors had 

" (1) Cir 22, Hq NATOUSA, i Mar 43, Collection 
and Evacuation of Salvage. (2) CCS Dir, Disposal 
of Material Captured in North Africa, 23 Apr 43. 
AG 400.93, EBS. (3) The first opportunity to return 
enemy QM items for technical intelligence purposes 
came in April 1943. Pounder himself initiated this 
program. (4) Cir 100, Hq MBS, 27 Jul 43, (5) Ltr, 
Middleswart to Col Joseph C. Odell, 16 Jun 4}. 
Littlejohn Collection, 



224 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



borrowed ordnance wreckers and re- 
covery vehicles as well as signal and en- 
gineering equipment. Without cutting 
torches, bolt clippers, and heavy jacks, 
as well as technicians capable of cutting 
heavy metals or deactivating the ingeni- 
ous mines and booby traps frequently 
attached to abandoned equipment, the 
work was slow. 

For a long time NATOUSA resisted 
suggestions that heavy salvage work be 
transferred to the Ordnance Depart- 
ment. It proposed instead to create a 
Quartermaster salvage recovery company 
(special) which would have the per- 
sonnel and tools to move tank hulks, 
disassemble them, cut armor plate, bolts, 
and rivets, and strip, recover, and pre- 
pare scrap for shipment. NATOUSA 
planned to use the special unit for com- 
pleting the job in Tunisia, then in 
Sicily, and finally in Italy. But on 8 
September 1943 NATOUSA itself re- 
stricted the activation of provisional 
units, and the special recovery company 
stayed on paper. A fortnight later, the 
War Department revised the Table of 
Organization of the regular collecting 
company. While a step in the right 
direction, this change still left the com- 
pany woefully inadequate to handle 
heavy salvage jobs such as had been 
encountered in Tunisia. ^^ 

It was mid-February 1943 before the 
226th Salvage Collection Company ar- 
rived in Tunisia. Since the II Corps 



" (1) Tab G, Memo, Salvage Off EBS for QM 
EBS, 23 May 43, sub: Salvage Activities in EBS; 
Memo, Chief Redistribution and Salvage Br ASF 
for Dir Prod Div ASF, i Oct 43, sub: Status of 
Salvage in NATOUSA. Both in Littlejohn Collec- 
tion. (2) Frink Rpt. (3) Ltr, AGWAR to CO 
NATOUSA et al., 22 Nov 43, sub: Recovery, Re- 
clamation, and Salvage in Theater of Opns; 3d Ind 
to Ltr, CO ASF to CG NATOUSA, 11 Jan 44. Both 
in AG 400.93, NATOUSA. 



was withdrawing behind Kasserine Pass 
and an effective recovery program was 
impossible, the 226th had little to do at 
first. McNamara clung to his original 
salvage plan. Once fighting had dwin- 
dled, this called for the divisions to re- 
cover and evacuate their own salvage. 
Then rear-bound trucks would reduce 
the divisional piles by hauling scrap to 
Tebessa, where the 226th would classify 
and repair it. But if the plan was 
simple, its execution was not. By mid- 
April the II Corps had left behind an 
area in central Tunisia covering more 
than 3,000 square miles, twice fought 
over and littered with damaged and 
abandoned equipment. Shuttling com- 
bat troops to the Bizerte front had left 
little time for salvage recovery. 

Salvage discipline within the 1st 
Armored Division, to cite only one ex- 
ample, was poor. Units failed either to 
deposit their waste materials along the 
main supply routes or evacuate them to 
corps dumps. A month after Bizerte's 
fall the El Guettar-Gafsa battlefield was 
still strewn with hundreds of tons of 
valuable property. One officer wrote: 
"We are wasting millions of dollars in 
failing to pick up material from the 
battlefield . . . our trucks carry ammuni- 
tion and supplies to the front and then 
return unloaded." Another quipped 
that the evacuation program would have 
been considerably improved if soldiers 
had hunted for salvage as they did for 
souvenirs. Hungry for battlefield me- 
mentos, American soldiers stripped pris- 
oners, dead or alive. One soldier was 
seen removing the Nazi swastika from 
a Messerschmitt's tail with the aid of a 
kitchen type of can opener. In their 
search for altimeters, clocks, speedom- 
eters, and name plates on newly cap- 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



225 



tured airplanes, looters often left behind 
a mass of unidentifiable junk for intel- 
ligence teams to survey/* 

After Bizerte fell, SOS NATOUSA in- 
stituted an elaborate battlefield clear- 
ance program. At first the mission was 
assigned to the few remaining combat 
troops. But without making much 
progress the infantry left for Sicily. The 
job then fell to Eastern Base Section's 
General Depot 4. Under a single com- 
mand, teams of ordnance, engineer, 
transportation, signal, and medical 
troops worked side by side with the 
226th and 227th QM Salvage Collection 
Companies. The battlefield was marked 
off into sectors following the grid sys- 
tem found on military maps. Eastern 
Base Section assigned each surveying 
team a sector to reconnoiter. Teams 
were instructed to provide overlays in- 
dicating the location and nature of sal- 
vage. By making a map mosaic, re- 
covery points were determined. When 
the 226th and 227th completed their 
task, 20,000 long tons had been evac- 
uated, the bulk of it spent ammunition. 
Of the remaining tonnage, 10 percent 
included motor parts, 10 percent gaso- 
line containers, 2 percent clothing, and 
15 percent miscellaneous scrap. From 
metals unwanted in the United States, 
NATOUSA realized a sum of almost 
two million dollars by sales to French 
authorities.^^ 



" (i) Pounder Rpt, p. 63. (2) McNamara Memoir, 
pp. 58-59. (3) Quoted from OQMG Intel Bull 13, 
5 May 43. Hist Br OQMG. (4) Frink Rpt. (5) Ltr, 
Sullivan to Ramsey, 4 May 43. Sullivan Papers. (6) 
Rpt, CO 1st Armd Div to CO NATOUSA, 26 Jun 
43, sub: Adequacy of Pers and Transport for Supply 
of a Div in Combat. Hist Br OQMG. (7) Ltr cited 
n. n (4). 

'^ (1) Ltr, Ramsey to Gregory, 2 Jun 43. Hist Br 
OQMG. (2) Logistical History of NATOUSA- 
MTOUSA, pp. 412-15. 



Salvage collection in Sicily during the 
course of the campaign improved 
slightly. The first collecting company, 
the 232d, landed in Palermo on 6 August 
1943. A backlog of accumulated cloth- 
ing, shoes, and typewriters for repair — 
not collecting — faced the 232d. To the 
combat units "QM's were QM's" and it 
made no difference that the 232d was a 
collecting unit if there was a big repair 
job to be done. So without any trained 
repairmen, without equipment, and 
without directions, the 232d began col- 
lecting spare parts, secondhand ma- 
chines, and tools to repair clothing, 
shoes, and typewriters. Late in August, 
the men of the 232d became collectors 
once again. Even then the unexpected 
dogged their steps. The 232d was a 
light salvage company, but heavy work 
faced it beyond Palermo. As in 
Tunisia, quartermasters found that more 
trucks and larger WTCckers were needed 
to handle battered tanks, field guns, and 
self-propelled artillery. Cutting through 
this heavy material with torches was 
barely possible, but took too long and 
was too expensive; demolition was faster 
and easier. Two experts from a nearby 
Ordnance bomb disposal company there- 
fore were attached to the 232d. Team- 
work had the happy effect of helping 
both services. In blowing heavy scrap 
into pieces, the concussions in the junk 
piles set off a few hidden booby traps 
and land mines. 

Searching teams, augmented by Ital- 
ians, hunted for scrap steel and alumi- 
num on the basis of sections marked off 
on a map of Sicily by the base section 
salvage officer. The 232d searched the 
Italian quartermaster depot at San 
Cataldo, the ration dumps at Prizzi, the 
rail yards at Napola, and the airfield 



226 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



complex around Trapani. All salvage 
collected was hauled daily to the nearest 
railroad siding and loaded on flatcars. 
At Palermo, the 232d cut the metal scrap 
to size and prepared it for shipment to 
other ports for final disposition.^*' 

The Italian campaign provided a 
better example of battlefield clearance 
and, even more, of salvage repair in 
combat than had that in North Africa. 
Commanded by Capt. Harris J. North, 
the 230th Salvage Collecting Company 
was the key organization of its type 
under Sullivan's command. The 230th 
came to be known respectfully as 'Tifth 
Army's junkmen." Arriving in Naples 
on 10 October 1943, it sent one platoon 
to Avellino and left another in Naples. 
The remainder of the company moved 
to Caserta where it operated the Fifth 
Army base salvage depot until April 
1944. North subdivided his base depot 
into three operational sections. A re- 
ceiving section segregated such items as 
headgear, webbing, and herringbone 
twill clothing; the classification section 
determined the serviceability and re- 
pairability of individual pieces; and the 
shipping section moved the materials to 
the next destination. Two new classifi- 
cations were added by Fifth Army to 
the four used in North Africa: enemy 
salvage, now obtained in ever-increasing 
quantities, was designated Class I; Class 
X was a further refinement of Class C, 
and included those items which were to 
be repaired but distributed only to non- 
combat groups such as Italian service 
troops and working civilians. 



" (1) Ltr, CO 232d QM Salvage Collecting Co to 
CO IBS, 24 Jun 44. sub: Orgn Hist. Hist Br OQMG. 

(2) Rpt of Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign, p. 3. 

(3) "Supply in Sicily-n," QMTSJ, HI, No. 21 (3 
December 1943), 16. 



The evacuation of salvage utilized the 
return trip of the ration transport sys- 
tem. At ration railheads troops of the 
230th maintained well-guarded and 
sheltered salvage dumps, where they 
could sack or bundle unpackaged ma- 
terials. From these recovery points they 
delivered clothing which could be read- 
ily used to the nearby mobile laundries 
for cleaning. These in turn transferred 
laundered articles to the clothing ex- 
changes. Salvage requiring additional 
processing moved from the ration rail- 
heads to the army base dump aboard 
homebound trucks or freight cars. Teams 
from the 230th often received special as- 
signments. As in Tunisia, they plotted 
the fields over which the Fifth Army 
had passed. Section by section, village 
by village, house by house, they car- 
ried out their assignments. The teams 
promptly transmitted to ordnance ex- 
perts information as to the location of 
ammunition dumps, unexploded bombs, 
projectiles, booby traps, and wrecked 
vehicles. 

South of Cassino combat salvage opera- 
tions assumed proportions which Sullivan 
described as "tremendous, apparently far 
beyond our capacity to handle. The 
stuff is coming down off the mountains 
at the rate of about twelve to fourteen 
truckloads a day." During two weeks in 
January 1944 his teams recovered and 
repaired more than a million dollars 
worth of quartermaster supplies. Be- 
cause divisions encountered difficulties 
in clearing their sectors, corps troops 
helped them. From December 1943 to 
March 1944, the II Corps dispatched 
special trucks to divisions possessing sal- 
vage in quantities beyond the transport 
means of the quartermaster company 
and sent out another fleet of vehicles to 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



227 



police roadsides. For almost a month 
in the spring of 1944 the II Corps de- 
tailed 150 Italian service troops to battle- 
field clearance while another group of 
Italians using pack trains evacuated sal- 
vage from advance positions. Salvage 
teams reconnoitered mountain trails as 
well as roads for supplies which had 
been abandoned or scattered when ve- 
hicles overturned or mules bolted. In 
these relatively remote regions salvage 
parties arranged for speedy evacuation 
of property lest it be lost to the vagaries 
of the weather or to battlefield scav- 
engers." 

At Anzio, where the full complement 
of services could not be maintained, the 
recovery program was necessarily less 
thorough. Here collectors were so few 
that they could not be used to locate or 
evacuate discarded supplies. Fatigue de- 
tails could only separate the salvage 
brought in by the combat units and ship 
by LST's bound for Naples that which 
required repair.^^ 

Throughout all these recovery opera- 
tions one work steadily progressed: sal- 
vage repair. The Fifth Army advanced 
what the 2^26. had begun in Palermo. 
Although Sullivan received no repair 
companies during the first nine months 
in Italy, he knew that sufficient quan- 
tities of quartermaster equipment would 



" (1) Opn Memo 38, OQM Fifth Army, 11 Feb 
44, sub: SOP Fifth Army Salvage Procedures; Opn 
Memo 46, 19 Mar 44, sub: Class B Clothing Issue 
Policy. Both in Sullivan Papers. (2) Quoted from 
Sullivan Diary, 5 Jan 44. (3) Ltr, CG II Corps to 
CG Fifth Army, 4 Apr 44, sub: Status of Salvage 
Collection in Corps Sector, Cassino Area. II Corps, 
AG 400. (4) "Mountain Operations Are a War of 
Supply," QMTS], IV, No. 25 (23 June 1944), 4. 

'* (1) "Anzio Quartermasters Battle Proved," 
QMTSJ, IV, No. 19 (12 May 1944), 7. (2) Hist 36th 
QM Co, May 44. Hist Br OQMG. (3) Sullivan MS, 
pp. 88-89. 



be available to him only if he conducted 
processing and renovation work. Sec- 
ondhand items rather than new supplies 
could be used while older equipment 
was being repaired. To this end, the 
230th initiated a program far beyond its 
original mission. By exploitation of 
local resources, by improvisation of 
sundry types of equipment, and by using 
space wherever it could be found, this 
versatile unit began the repair of cloth- 
ing, tools, office machines, helmets, mess 
kits and canteens, stoves, saddles and 
harnesses, gasoline and water cans, web- 
bing, cots, and tents. Indeed the Fifth 
Army to a considerable extent liberated 
itself from Peninsular Base Section's 
reclamation program. ^^ 

Sullivan's first salvage repair depot 
opened at Caserta in October 1943- 
From the receipt and classification of 
the various items to their ultimate dis- 
position, it operated on an assembly line 
plan. For the renovation of clothing, 
by far the most extensive of repair activ- 
ities, space was utilized wherever it was 
found. A spaghetti factory provided 
shop space for drying thousands of 
pieces of clothing under heating pipes. 
In terms of volume, starting with field 
jackets and continuing in successive 
order, wool trousers, fatigue trousers, 
fatigue suits, fatigue jackets, wool shirts, 
wool underwear, overcoats, and combat 
jackets were the major clothing items 
repaired. Many obstacles had to be 
overcome before the clothing repair 
depot worked smoothly. Caserta lacked 
electricity. Flatirons had to be heated 



'» (1) Sullivan MS, p. 26. (2) Memo, Sullivan for 
QM Staff, 12 Dec 43, no sub; Ltr, Sullivan to 
Clark, 4 Nov 44, sub: Bronze Star Medal Recom- 
mendation. Both in Sullivan Papers. (3) Hist QM 
PBS, p. 170. 



228 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



over crude charcoal stoves which re- 
quired constant fanning. Mending of 
clothing depended on the employment 
of Italian women who either brought 
their own sewing machines to the fac- 
tory or took work home. In either place 
the seamstresses worked in unhealed 
rooms. At the factory the stone floors 
and glassless windows added to the 
workers' chill and discomfort. Quarter- 
masters provided partial relief by cover- 
ing the factory's open windows with 
cellophane from salvaged protective gas 
capes and by permitting the seamstresses 
to wear some of the mended clothing. 
All branches of the salvage depot 
demonstrated their ingenuity in the re- 
covery of serviceable parts from irrepair- 
able equipment and their placement in 
usable equipment — a process which was 
known as "cannibalization" — and in the 
improvisation of new items and tools. 
By using wool from a badly worn blan- 
ket and the zipper from an old field 
jacket, seamstresses tailored vests for 
combat infantrymen. The workers ex- 
ploited the smallest of scrap goods. To 
cushion the telltale jingle of two clang- 
ing aluminum dog tags swinging freely 
around the neck chain of men on night 
patrols, needleworkers fashioned tiny 
cloth pouches. Every week, on the aver- 
age, artisans thumped out dents in 1,500 
aluminum mess kits and reclaimed 800 
canteen cups. Corroded kits were dipped 
in a lye solution, then rinsed, redipped 
in a weak nitric acid solution, rinsed 
again, and hung up to dry. Soldiers 
who passed the shop were unaware that 
the shiny, new-looking kits had been a 
heap of blackened scrap metal a few 
hours before. Eighty-five percent of all 
aluminum kits could be repaired and re- 
turned to stock. By dint of 145 pounds 



of compressed air per inch, workers re- 
stored depressed aluminum canteens. 
In a separate yard, tents — critical items 
throughout the war — were dried, classi- 
fied, patched, strengthened in the seams, 
provided with new rope, and water- 
proofed, sometimes within a matter of 
hours. A single typewriter shop, em- 
ploying skilled Italian repairmen, 
boasted that it drew no new spare parts. 
All were cannibalized from Class D 
machines.^" 

Repair projects eventually exceeded 
the 23oth's capacity. The strain was 
even greater during the sweep to the 
Arno. To lend assistance. Peninsular 
Base Section released the 299th Salvage 
Repair Company from the depot at 
Secondigliano in July 1944. Sullivan 
pressed the company into work at his 
army depot and restored the 230th to its 
collecting chores. Accompanying Fifth 
Army up the peninsula, stopping tem- 
porarily at Civitavecchia and Piombino, 
the 299th finally settled in Florence 
where it passed the second winter, train- 
ing and supervising fifteen hundred em- 
ployees and amassing approximately 
400,000 square feet of working space. 

Late in 1944 MTOUSA believed that 
the Fifth Army should be relieved of all 
those facilities which Peninsular Base 
Section could staff and operate. Sul- 
livan fought the proposal; insisting that 
he was unprepared to relinquish his re- 
pair train until the army advanced, he 
argued: 



2" (1) QMTSJ, IV. No. 17 (28 April 1944), 10; 
QMTSJ, IV, No. 19 (12 May 1944), 14-15. (2) Rpt, 
Repair Activities of the 230th QM Salvage Collect- 
ing Co, n.d.; Memo, Sullivan for Tate, 2 Mar 45, 
sub: QM Equip. Both in Sullivan Papers. (3) 
Fifth Army History, III, 71. (4) "QM Salvage Com- 
pany Renews Damaged Equipment in Italy," QMR, 
XXIII, No. 5 (March-April 1944), 103-04. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



229 



... If I can repair every last item of Fifth 
Army Salvage within the Army area and 
still keep my installations mobile, I intend 
to do so. If PBS would follow us closely 
with closely supporting installations where 
evacuation would be simplified, I would 
have no objection to reducing my activity 
to the minimum. My salvage has imme- 
diate value to the Army. If long lines of 
communication with no intermediate base 
establishments are in the picture, I think a 
plan to ship everything to the rear is 
ridiculous. Also if salvage were shipped to 
the rear and I could get resupply without 
voluminous requisition, verification, reveri- 
fication and long waiting I would not 
object. I haven't been convinced to date 
that such will ever be the case while PBS 
operates as it does.^^ 

The 900,000 articles of Class C equip- 
ment repaired within the army's boimda- 
ries, Sullivan held, represented stores 
which were either in constant demand 
or essential because of seasonal or sud- 
den weather changes. Local repair 
meant a speedier turnover of used equip- 
ment and a reduction in calls for new 
supplies. Furthermore, Sullivan issued 
Class C clothing in response to urgent 
unfilled requisitions. The Fifth Army, 
for example, issued field jackets, under- 
wear, shoes, and leggings to French, 
Brazilian, and Italian troops within 
hours after NATOUSA had approved 
the delivery of equipment originally in- 
tended for American troops alone. 
Similarly, Sullivan replenished without 
delay all the 88th Division's stocks which 
had been burned by an incendiary 
bomb. Finally, the savings in trans- 
portation provided him with another 
justification. In little more than a year 



^' (1) Quoted from Ltr, Sullivan to Ramsey, 6 
Dec 44; 2d Ind, QM Fifth Army for QM gad Inf 
Div, 22 Jan 45. Both in Sullivan Papers. (2) Sul- 
livan Diary, 20 Dec 44. 



2,200 truckloads of Class C clothing had 
been renovated within Sullivan's salvage 
works. Considerable quantities now lay 
in the Class II and IV depot awaiting 
issue. To the Fifth Army, this repre- 
sented a saving of 341,000 truck-miles.^^ 

Improvements in combat zone salvage 
repair did not end with the establish- 
ment of repair works inside the army 
area. Experience in North Africa, where 
the field range became clogged because 
of prolonged use of leaded gasoline, 
taught that substantial savings of time 
and supplies could be achieved if mobile 
repair sections roved among the com- 
mands. Shortly after arriving in Naples, 
Sullivan formed a mobile four-man 
team equipped with adequate tools and 
parts to visit imits on a prearranged 
schedule and help them inspect and 
maintain field ranges. A 2i/4-ton truck 
bed was rebuilt as a workshop fitted out 
with a bench, a parts cabinet, and a rack 
for welding and cutting tools. Enlisted 
men who had been given specialized 
training at one of the depots took their 
journeymen's training with a regiment 
in the 34th Infantry Division. Sullivan 
put them to work on the field range 
project, and between December 1943 
and April 1944 they restored almost 
fifteen hundred ranges to service. In 
May and June the team reconditioned 
every field range belonging to the 88th 
Infantry Division. 

Sullivan inaugurated two other pro- 
grams in 1944. Both were rewarding. 
A typewriter and office machine repair 
team, carrying tools, an air compressor, 
and a trailer-mounted work bench, trav- 
eled among the units of the II and IV 



" (1) Sullivan Diary, 14 Dec 44. (2) Rpt, Army 
Salvage Systein with QM Base Salvage Depot Elim- 
inated [ca. 1 Jan 45]. Sullivan Papers. 



230 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Corps. The mechanics repaired ten 
machines a day. In northern Italy Sul- 
livan organized two mobile shoe repair 
teams, one of which was assiorned to each 
of the corps. During a thirty-foiu- day 
period in October and November 1944, 
the imit working for the II Corps in the 
vicinity of the ration diunp received 
4,000 pairs of shoes, of which 2,700 were 
repaired and 1,300 classed as salvage. Its 
accomplishments received Avell-deserved 
publicity through the armed forces' 
radio network. -^ 

Although the Fifth Army's programs 
were the more praised because they re- 
flected what coidd be achieved along a 
static, mountainous front, salvage and 
repair activities in the base sections 
yielded greater returns in volume. 
While fighting raged in Timisia, Medi- 
terranean Base Section operated nine 
salvage dumps, one in each of the major 
supply centers at Oujda, Arzew, Mosta- 
ganem, Perregaux, Relizane, Orleans- 
ville, and Algiers, and two in Oran. 
One of the Oran depots specialized in 
cloth and leather items, the other in 
scrap metals of all shapes and sizes, in- 
cluding even toothpaste tubes. 

Lacking organic repairmen for the 
renovation and repair of clothing and 
equipment during the first few months 
in North Africa, the Mediterranean 



'^^ (1) Opn Memo 57, OQM Fifth Army, 18 Apr 
44, sub: SOP Field Range Inspection Group. Sul- 
livan Papers. (2) Hist 88th QM Co. Hist Br 
OQMG. (3) "Troubleshooters Service Fifth Army 
Field Ranges," QMTSJ, V, No. 7 (18 August 1944), 
3. (4) Sullivan MS, pp. 30-33, 64. (5) Hist 34th 
QM Co, Apr 44. Hist Br OQMG. (6) Ltr, Sullivan 
to Middleswart, 21 Sep 44; Memo, Salvage Off OQM 
to Sullivan, 14 Nov 44, sub: Resume of Activities of 
Mobile Shoe and Typewriter Units in II Corps; 
Memos, CO 230th QM Salvage Collecting Co for 
Sullivan, 17 Nov 44; 17, 31 Jan 45, sub: Contact of 
II Corps QM. All in Sullivan Papers. 



Base salvage officer negotiated with con- 
tractors for laundry and dry cleaning at 
Oujda, for shoe repairing at Sidi Bel 
Abbes and Oran, and for both services 
at Algiers. Later, when space and 
equipment from several semimobile 
trailers became available, he terminated 
the contracts and combined a variety of 
services in a single plant. This effort 
was short-lived. The quantity of salvage 
increased the longer Timisian opera- 
tions continued, and soon the job ex- 
ceeded the capabilities of military man- 
power. Again, the salvage officer re- 
sorted to civilian contracts. Algerian 
and Moroccan natives, French and 
Spanish refugees, and Italian prisoners 
of war comprised the labor forces. 
Their work was satisfactory only when 
supervision was strict and sustained. 
Because of language barriers, American 
methods and work standards were dif- 
ficult to communicate. Since there was 
no alternative to using whatever labor 
was available, the salvage program was 
often inefficiently carried out. Workers 
in the coastal cities were imable to cope 
with the muddy and torn tents retrieved 
from southern Tunisia, which accumu- 
lated in mounting piles. Finally, dur- 
ing several trips into the desert the 
salvage officer recruited nomadic Arab 
tentmakers whose methods were prim- 
itive but fairly effective. Adding their 
handiwork to that of day laborers who 
either brightened the tents with brushes 
and on scrubbing boards or folded and 
packed them for reissue, quartermasters 
soon restored what had once been a de- 
teriorating heap of canvas and cord. 

Salvage developed into a big business 
at Naples. Lt. Col. William E. Ela, 
having arrived on 3 October 1943 from 
Casablanca, was named Chief, Salvage 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



231 



and Reclamation Branch, Quarter- 
master Section, Peninsular Base Section. 
Subsequently Ela supervised 8 laundry 
companies, 5 salvage repair companies, 
4 salvage collecting companies, 1 sterili- 
zation company, and 2 fumigation and 
bath companies. Later 6 Italian POW 
companies, 7 Italian service units, 23 
German POW companies, and 4,000 
civilians joined in Ela's program. At 
Bagnoli, west of Naples, the 819th Steril- 
ization and Bath Company became the 
first to engage in salvage work by re- 
ceiving and classifying clothing and 
equipment ten days after the fall of 
Naples. Because Ela's spreading works 
attracted enemy aircraft and jeopardized 
the safety of the nearby medical center, 
he moved his depot ten miles inland to 
a former Italian barracks in Secondi- 
gliano, on the highway leading out of 
Naples to Aversa. Here the depot lay 
close to Sullivan's salvage dump. On 16 
November 1943 the 299th Salvage Re- 
pair Company arrived at Secondigliano, 
and within ten days it was repairing 500 
pairs of shoes daily, processing 600 gar- 
ments, servicins^ 220 office machines, and 
renovating 90 tents. By the first week 
in December more than 2,000 tons of 
clothing in need of mending had accu- 
mulated at the depot. Meantime Ela 
rented 30 sewing machines from an 
Italian merchant, canvassed Naples for 
typewriter repairmen, advertised for bal- 
ing machines, and imported a surplus 
shoe repair trailer and crew from Atlan- 
tic Base Section in Morocco. 

With each passing month the 299th 
encoimtered extraordinary problems 
and additional tasks. Within minutes 
enemy bombers in December converted 
500 tons of quartermaster equipment 
into 250 tons of salvage. Of this re- 



mainder the 299th reclaimed 80 percent. 
The incident gave birth to Ela's first 
Neapolitan labor force, which mush- 
roomed from 200 employees in 1943 to a 
maximum of 2,200 in 1945. In January 
1944 whipping winds weakened and 
wrenched more than 4,000 wall tents. 
These were promptly patched by the 
220th Salvage Repair Company, which 
had recently arrived from Tunisia. 
Erom Anzio the 299th and 220th re- 
ceived daily as many as 100 trucks, 
loaded indiscriminately with battlefield 
litter which had to be sorted and classi- 
fied before moving along the repair 
cycle. In April salvage tonnage rose. 
Relief was provided by the addition of 
the 219th Repair Company. May 
brought a tidal wave of winter woolens 
as the troops donned summer-weight 
uniforms. On the eve of the taking of 
Rome, Ela reported to Bare that well 
over 80 percent of all salvage at Secondi- 
gliano had gone back into stock. Al- 
though the results of his first six months 
in Naples were impressive. Colonel Ela 
concluded that "the salvage program is 
still in its infancy. As the campaign is 
well in its second year, the quantity of 
clothing and equipage that require salv- 
age is constantly increasing." -* 

There was a lull in the fighting in 
July 1944, following the capture of 
Leghorn. As already noted, the oppor- 
tunity was taken to shift the 299th for- 
ward to the Fifth Army. Meanwhile the 
219th and 220th Salvage Repair Com- 
panies, the 819th Sterilization and Bath 
Company, and the 2d Italian Salvage 
Repair Company carried the heavy load 
at Naples, where most of Seventh Army 



■^ Ltr, Ela to CO 6698th QMBD, 27 Mar 44, sub: 
Sketch of Salvage Activities to Date. Sullivan Pa- 
pers. 



232 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Table 5 — Salvage Repair by Peninsular Base Section: Selected Items 
I December 1943-30 June 1945 



Item 


Number 


Estimated 
Savings" 


Unit 
Cost 


Total 


5,830,488 
1,193,412 
1,034,175 

866,702 
1,064,052 
1,318,267 

280,720 
73,160 


$15,134,506 
1,766,433 
2,044,276 
2,093,511 
2,777,770 
2,260,535 
291,589 
3,900,392 






$1.89 




2.40 




4.35 




4.85 




6.74 




4.51 




80.00 







" Estimated savings were based upon difference between cost of making repairs and the value of new items in the zone of interior. Thus 
even the cost of transatlantic shipping was excluded, and the value of supplies at the far end of a long and hazardous logistical pipeline was 
completely ignored. Possibly the prices paid by Italians at U.S. Army auctions of ' 'unrepairable" salvage reflected true values more accurately. 
At Naples late in 1943, shoes, service. Class D, were sold for ^15. 00 a pair. The unit cost (new) for this item was $3-95- 

Source: (i) Hist QM PBS, p. 165. (2) Price List, AR 30-3000, 16 Oct 44. 



embarked for the Dragoon operation. 
During this same period the capacity of 
the 220th was muUipHed many times by 
converting it from a mobile to a fixed 
unit. This step elevated most of its 
men to foremen over Italian workers, 
but the 220th retained its mobile trailers, 
sending them forward to Leghorn with 
a skilled cadre in September." During 
the next month the major portion of the 
unit was reunited in that city and two 
Italian repair companies also arrived, 
taking over the operation of the tent, 
shoe, and webbing shops. At Leghorn, 
Ela's repairmen and supervisors had an 
excellent location with covered shop 
space exceeding 70,000 square feet. It 
was laid out to permit production line 
operations. Gradually more equipment 
was obtained including cranes and con- 



veyors to handle the mounting stacks of 
jerricans and oil drums. Within a few 
months the workload at Leghorn justi- 
fied the construction of two large tem- 
porary buildings, expanding the indoor 
working space to more than 100,000 
square feet. Repair of jerricans passed 
the 800-cans-a-day mark in February 1945, 
and by April the Leghorn depot was re- 
turning 1,000 bales of salvage clothing 
a day to stock. ^^ 

Peninsular Base Section conservatively 
estimated that during the period from 
1 December 1943 to 30 June 1945 a rep- 
resentative portion of its salvage opera- 
tions, involving only seven major items, 
had saved the U.S. Army over $15,000,000. 
(Table 5) While Ela's program had 
stressed reclamation and return of articles 
to stock, the disposal of goods that had 
either outlived their usefulness or were 



25 The mobile element of the fixed salvage repair 
company was a useful innovation, later imitated by 
other converted repair companies in the Mediter- 
ranean theater. It made possible a flexible forward 
movement by echelons to give closer support" to 
the combat troops. Col. Hugh S. Harpole, "Sal- 
vage in the Mediterranean Area," QMR, XXIV, 
No. 3 (November-December 1944), 20. 



=>" (1) MBS Cir 49, sub: Salvage and Reclamation, 
1 Apr 43. (2) QMTSJ, IV, No. 9 (3 March 1944), 
4. (3) Lt. Col. Karl Detzer, "The Mop-up Crews 
Take Over," QMR, XXIII, No. i (July-August 
1943), 18-19. (4) Article cited n. 25, above. (5) 
Hist QM PBS, pp. 165-70. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



233 



unwanted in the United States was an 
activity not to be ignored. From an initial 
sale of $50.00 worth of fats and greases to 
a Neapolitan soapmaker in December 
1943, Ela's sales activities expanded to an 
enterprise that had grossed two million 
dollars by May 1945. At public auctions 
quartermasters gave Italians the oppor- 
tunity to obtain bottles, rags, tin cans, 
scrap rubber, and even heavy metal 
plates. Aircraft provided Italian in- 
dustry witii a sizable amount of scrap 
aluminum. Garbage and spoiled foods 
were sold for feed to animals and for the 
manufacture of soap. In February 1944, 
the Remount Service rejected no horses 
and mules. The animals were herded 
into a rural district. Handbills were 
circidated. The first auction proved as 
popular with the Italians as it was profit- 
able ($50,000.00) to the Americans. So 
Ela repeated the auctions at six-week 
intervals. 

In November 1944 Allied commis- 
sioners replaced the auctions with a dif- 
ferent system. In order to obtain a 
wider and more equitable distribution 
than had proved possible by public sales, 
which unavoidably favored a compara- 
tively few high bidders, Italian author- 
ities designated the industries which 
could buy Class D salvage. Although 
the larger part of the scrap metals went 
into Italian industrial rehabilitation, 
much ^vas returned to the U.S. Army in 
the form of aluminum pistons, butcher 
knives, chisels, space heaters, grates, 
drawbars and spare parts. ^^ 

Salvage units had low priorities for 
the Dragoon operation, and arrived 
rather late in southern France. When 
separate troop lists were set up for 
GONAD and Delta Base on 25 Septem- 



Hist QM PBS, pp. 182, 184-8 



ber 1944, only three salvage repair com- 
panies and no collecting companies were 
available to the two headquarters. By 
late October, type^vriter, clothing, and 
shoe repair installations were operating 
in the Dijon area, but the major salvage 
center of GONAD was established at 
Vesoul during the following month. 
Here the 223d Salvage Repair Company 
supervised the activities of two service 
companies, and ultimately of five Italian 
salvage companies, received the valuable 
assistance of several laundry imits, and 
co-ordinated activities with a French sal- 
vage installation. It repaired tents, mess 
kits, field ranges, and jerricans and re- 
ceived an average of forty carloads of 
salvage each week from Seventh Army 
and three carloads from 1st French 
Army. Meanwhile the 227th Salvage 
Collecting Company and the 232d and 
592d Salvage Repair Companies op- 
erated still farther forward, at Sarre- 
bourg, Nancy, and Luneville. Because 
of transportation shortages, salvage re- 
pair operations ^vere concentrated in 
the forward area to a maximum extent. 
In October and November, when the 
new M-1943 clothing was being issued 
and vast amoimts of older garments 
were turned in. Delta Base loaned the 
3068th Salvage Repair Company to 
GONAD. By early December this unit 
had returned from Vesoul to Marseille, 
where its main duties were repairs for 
service troops within the base section. ^^ 

Spare Parts 

Of the many logistical lessons, one of 
the most difficult to communicate was 

^ (1) GONAD History, II, 563-681, 835-873. (2) 
Littlejohn, ed.. Passing in Review, ch. 43. (3) Unit 
Iliscory Files, Hist Br OQMG. 



234 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



that a highly mechanized army de- 
pended almost as much on an uninter- 
rupted flow of spare and interchange- 
able parts as it did on rations, fuels, and 
ammunition. For quartermasters, the 
lesson came early in North Africa when 
mechanical difficulties of the field range 
and bakery oven were compounded by 
the absence of replacement parts. After 
Tunisia the first replacement factor 
study which Middleswart presented to 
the War Department embraced parts 
for the field range. He listed ninety- 
five separate items that were in short 
supply, presumably l)ecause War De- 
partment allowances as of June 1943 
did not reflect Tunisian experience. 
Shortages reappeared in Sicily. Even 
when the theater was eighteen months 
old and machinery was that much more 
worn, little improvement could be 
claimed. 2^ In a tone of desperation Sul- 
livan wrote to Middleswart on the eve of 
the breakthrough toward Rome: 

The question of repair parts for our 
laundry, bakeries, S&B units, etc., has been 
brought to my attention. I have written 
you regarding the problem and discussed it 
with you on your visits here. . . . Why can't 
you get repair parts? We have requisitions 
still outstanding from as far back as Octo- 
ber of last year, with requisitions for each 
month thereafter submitted and no parts 
received. . . . We have been able to keep 
our units going by improvisation and sheer 
luck. . . . However this cannot go on in- 
definitely.^" 



=* (1) Pounder Rpt, pp. 20-22. (2) Memo, Sulli- 
van for Tate, 19 Dec 43, no sub; Memo, 2d Lt 
Ernest E. Ballard, Class II and IV Off, for Col. 
Victor J. MacLaughlin, OQM Fifth Army, 24 Dec 
43, sub: Field Range Parts. Both in Sullivan Pa- 
pers. 

=" Ltr, Sullivan to Middleswart, 14 May 44. Sul 
livan Papers. 



Unpleasant as this situation was, Sullivan 
made no attempt to keep it a secret; only 
the day before he had dispatched a stern 
note to OQMG: 

. . . the flow of spare parts for the present 
laundries, British bakeries, sterilization and 
bath units, and for other mechanical units 
put out by the Quartermaster is terrible 
beyond words. . . . Now please, find out 
who is responsible for the supply of spare 
parts to the mechanical units ... go 
around to this gentleman and tell him that 
we don't need any more production until 
they get caught up on spare parts. ^"^ 

The Quartermaster General sought to 
determine whether the spare parts had 
been shipped to NATOUSA or side- 
tracked at New York. From the avail- 
able records. General Gregory claimed 
that enough parts had been shipped to 
provide for one year's maintenance. He 
concluded that the shortage was attribut- 
able to a faidty distribution system 
within the theater, to a high mortality 
rate rcsidting from continuous opera- 
tion of equipment, and to a lack of effi- 
cient maintenance and operating per- 
sonnel. NATOUSA did not deny that 
logistical hazards contributed to the lag 
between the sid)mission of requisitions 
and the delivery of parts. Time was 
lost Sidlivan pointed out, when vessels 
were diverted from their original des- 
tinations. The relatively few boxes of 
spare parts were difficidt to spot amidst 
the thousands of commodity containers. 

Quartermaster operations were often 
seriously handicapped and at times sus- 
pended because spare parts failed to 
arrive. For example, in January 1944 
Sullivan sid)mitted requisitions to 
ETOUSA for a stock of spare parts for 



^' Ltr, Sullivan to Doriot, 13 May 44. OQMG 
MED 400.4. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



235 



British-made bakery equipment. After 
waiting for the parts for almost six 
months he was ready to replace the 
trailer-mounted British equipment with 
the far less mobile M1912 model. To 
Littlejohn, Sullivan wrote: "I do not in- 
tend to continue to be responsible for 
the maintenance of equipment for 
which I am unable to obtain spare 



parts. 



Although Sullivan had re- 



peated his order \vith regularity, the 
shipment Avas not made until June 
1914, and then the containers were lost 
in transit. Not until November — ten 
months after the original request — were 
the parts successfully shipped by air. 
Difficulties originated in another quar- 
ter. In August 1944, a 66,000-pound 
shipment of spare parts for laundry 
equipment, presumably unloaded at 
Civitavecchia, Avas misplaced, and an ex- 
tensive search of Fifth Army's dumps 
failed to locate these urgently needed 
supplies. Middleswart's remedy, in part 
at least, lay in the recommendation that 
his 75-day level of spare parts be raised 
to a 6-month level. This had the sup- 
port of the OQMG but it was denied 
by Army Service Forces. ^^ 

Two spare parts depots, one in Oran 



•^ Ltr, Sullivan to Littlejohn, 22 May .J4. Little- 
john Collection. 

^ (1) Ltrs, Sullivan to Middleswart, 8, 27 Jul 44; 
Msgs, Clark to Larkin, 22 Feb 44, 10 Sep 44; Rad 
L-38824, Larkin to Clark, 25 Aug 44; Memo, Mid- 
dleswart for Sullivan, 28 Aug 44; Msg L-48049, 
Larkin to Lee, 1 Oct 44. All in Sullivan Papers. (2) 
Memo, Actg Chief Maint Br ASF for Dir Sv Instl 
Div ASF, 20 May 44, no sub; Memo, TQMG for 
Dir Sv Instl Div ASF, 23 May 44, no sub; Memo, 
Dir Sv Instl Div ASF for TQMG, 6 Jun 44, sub: 
Spare Parts for Mechanical Equip; Ltr, Gregory to 
Sullivan, 9 Jun 44. All in OQMG MED 400.4. (3) 
Rad F-65896, CG NATOUSA to WD, 29 Jun 44; 
Rad WAR 61901, Somervell to Larkin, 7 Jul 44. 
Both in OQMG NATOUSA 451.31. 



and the other at Naples, were opened 
by NATOUSA in the spring of 1944. 
The former, Middleswart designated as 
his central depot, much to the chagrin 
of those who thought this vital stock 
should be situated "where the fighting 
is going on" and close enough to elimi- 
nate the two-month period in which 
spare parts were ferried from North 
Africa to Italy. The Neapolitan depot 
opened on 1 April 1944 and remained 
there until 1 January 1945, when it 
moved to Leghorn. Designed to issue 
salvaged supplies and spare parts for fixed 
laundries, typewriters, and office ma- 
chines, as well as equipment for mobile 
laimdries, sterilization and bath trailers, 
and refrigeration, bakery, and salvage 
repair vans, the depot ultimately carried 
twelve thousand different spare parts 
for almost sixty major items of Quarter- 
master equipment.^* 

Indicating how new problems grew 
out of solutions to old ones, the pur- 
chase of Italian machinery also led to 
the search for appropriate spare parts. 
A chore from the outset, this search be- 
came even more difficult as the demand 
rose. Not only were stocks more pre- 
cious but parts dealers were also knoAvn 
to charge from five to ten times the 
original price; indeed, in some instances, 
the Quartermaster Section suspected that 
many errant parts appearing on the mar- 
ket had recently rested in their own 
depot racks. An attempt to fashion 
spare parts locally, on a contractual basis, 
was an imperfect solution since the 
prices were again high notwithstanding 



^ (1) Ltr, Sullivan to Middleswart, 22 May 44; 1st 
Ind, AG SOS NATOUSA for CG NATOUSA, 6 
May 44. Both in Sullivan Papers. (2) Hist QM 
PBS, p. 156. 



236 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the fact that the Americans furnished 
raw materials. Furthermore, the finished 
product was rarely engineered with 
sufficient precision to function properly 
when assembled in the larger piece of 
machinery. ^^ 

If the situation had improved by the 
end of 1944 or early 1945, it cannot be 
demonstrated by the evidence. Spare 
parts teams sent to the theater noted 
that the Fifth Army was not permitted 
to maintain stocks of replacement parts 
and that deliveries to Sullivan were still 
delayed by inadequate inventories at 
Peninsular Base Section. This was es- 
pecially true of spare parts for mobile 
laundries, bakeries, clothing and textile 
repair units, and sterilization, bath, 
and shoe repair trailers. All too of- 
ten, another observer noted, machinery 
worked only through the mending of 
tinkers or the improvising of techni- 
cians. Concluding that the spare parts 
problem was not generally understood, 
he thought it small consolation that "this 
feeling of frustration was not evident 
... in any of the other Quartermaster 
activities." ^® 

Spare parts organization in the south 
of France followed the Mediterranean 
pattern. A single warehouse at Marseille 
contained all spare parts received from 
the United States. They were controlled 
items, sent forward only after requisi- 
tions were approved by the SOI.OC 
quartermaster. After inspecting the in- 
stallation in February 1945, General 
Littlejohn noted that it was "well or- 



ganized, but has insufficient stocks. Spe- 
cifically, has no bakery parts." Mean- 
while the CONAD quartermaster had 
arranged for the Ordnance Section to 
provide parts and to perform repairs on 
field ranges, stoves, and similar equip- 
ment. Beginning in mid-December 
1944, both salvaged and captured ma- 
teriel in these categories were turned 
over to that organization, which had 
requisitioned several French arsenals 
and automotive factories and had ample 
workshop facilities. The amounts in- 
volved, never more than thirty tons in 
a two week's reporting period, were too 
small to appear in Ordnance activity re- 
ports, but represented a major service 
to the Quartermaster Section. ^^ 

Four-Legged Soldiers 

In an Army moving toward complete 
mechanization, the reversion to pack 
trains and the use of war dogs appeared 
rather anomalous. The War Depart- 
ment had long debated the utility of 
horses and mules and procured fewer 
and fewer of them, but beginning early 
in 1942, it procured dogs in mounting 
numbers. In North Africa the Quarter- 
master Corps introduced the first of its 
four-legged soldiers — trained sentry dogs 
— to the battlefield on 8 November 1942. 
The 3d Battalion, 30th Infantry, 3d Divi- 
sion, had obtained four dogs from the 
Canine Section, Quartermaster Remount 
Depot, Front Royal, Virginia, before 
sailing. On board ship, handlers saw 



^Hist QM PBS, p. 178. 

*" (1) Memo, QM Spare Parts Team for TQMG, 
24 Dec 44, sub: Fifth Arniy QM Opns. Sullivan 
Papers. (2) Quoted in Memo, Asst ExO G-4 for 
QM AFHQ, 9 Jan 45, sub: Rpt of QM Spare Parts 
and Maint Arlivilies. AG 319.1 NATOHSA. 



^ (1) Memo, CQM ETO for Brig Gen John B. 
Franks, 23 Feb 45, sub: Inspection of SOLOC Area 
and Action Required. Littlejohn Reading File, 
vol. XXXIII, item 124. (2^ CONAD History, II 
617, 631, 646. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



237 



their doc's for the first time, fed them C 
rations, and engaged in last-minute train- 
ing. On D-day the dogs proved gun-shy 
and flinched with fear when the convoy 
^vas subjected to aerial bombardment 
and naval gimfire. Once ashore, each 
canine sentry cla\ved out his own fox- 
hole immediately. Behind the lines in 
the stillness of the next two nights, the 
dogs ^valked post. Handlers noAv praised 
their sentry \vork, feeling that the war 
dogs had remained alert for a greater 
period of time than the men had. The 
3d Battalion's commander, Maj. Charles 
E. Johnson, recommended that in the 
future dogs should have an opportunity 
to become accustomed to battle noises, 
training which he believed had been 
overlooked at Front Royal. Later, in 
Italy, a mine dog platoon failed at mine 
detection work, and commanders re- 
ported that they much preferred engi- 
neer experts ^vith technical devices for 
the job. At the war's end, five war dog 
platoons, the 33d, 34th, 35th, 37th, and 
38th had served with the Fifth Army, 
mostly in the Gothic Line. Judging 
from reports and statements by handlers, 
messenger and scout dogs Avere only de- 
sirable in static warfare. ^^ 

Interest in pack animals as carriers 
first became pressing when the II Corps 
deployed on the approaches to Bizerte. 
With the main roads of the Sedjenanc 
valley interdicted by mines, the Hoth 
Combat Team, 9th Division, ascended 



narrow trails so overgrown with scrub 
brush as to be impenetrable to vehicles. 
If the Bizerte offensive was to continue 
on terrain that was more suited to de- 
fensive operations, a less conventional 
method of supply had to be improvised.^^ 
Describing the same problem after simi- 
lar experience in Sicily, Maj. Gen. Clar- 
ence R. Huebner, commander of the 
1st Infantry Division, wrote: 

It is impossible for infantry to operate 
exclusively in tank country when there is 
danger of an enemy tank attack; therefore, 
infantry must seek out tank-proof localities. 
The tank-proof localities normally include 
commanding terrain. To enable the 81mm. 
mortar and its ammunition to follow 
the infantry into rough country, mules, 
equipped with . . . pack saddles must be 
available. 

Engineers normally follow closely behind 
the advancing infantry preparing trails 
which will permit supplies to be carried by 
14 -ton C&R trucks. Until these trails are 
built, the only means of providing ammu- 
nition and rations is by mule or light ani- 
mal transportation. Once these trails have 
been completed, the only use for the mule 
is to supply isolated patrols or detachments 
and to further the advance of the infantry 
elements.*" 

In Tunisia commanders and Quarter- 
master planners had not fully anticipated 
the tise of pack animals. The beasts 
coidd not come from the United States. 
Shipping Avas already scarce and if vessels 
were altered to transport livestock and 
their forage, the problem of shipping 
would become even more involved. For 



^ (1) Ltr, CO 3d Bn 30th Inf to CG 3d Div, 2r, 
Nov 42. Seventh Army, AG 4r,4. (2) Rpt 419, AGF 
Bd Hq MTOIISA, 9 May 45. OQMG MED 31925. 
(3) Erna Risch and Chester L. KiefTer, The Quart - 
ermaster Corps: Organization, Supply, and Seniires, 
Volume II, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD 
WAR II (Washington, 1955), p. 336. 



^ (1) Ltr, CG 3d Inf Div to CG Seventh Army, 21 
Sep 43, sub: Authority for Proc of Mules. Seventh 
Army, AG 454. (2) To Bizerte With the II Corps, 
23 April-n' May 1943, AMERICAN FORCES IN 
ACTION SERIES (Washington, 1943), pp. 31-33. 

^^ Ltr, Huebner to Patton, 19 Sep 43, sub: Rpt on 
Pack Equip and Animals. Seventh Army, AG 454. 



238 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



that reason animals, forage, and equip- 
ment had to come from the countryside. 
Finding offspring of the male donkey 
and mare was just the beginning of the 
problem. Few quartermasters reared in 
a machine age knew how to organize a 
pack train. Nor could they find many 
experienced muleteers among the com- 
bat troops. For the Sedjenane valley ad- 
vance, the G-4 of II Corps provided a 
remount fund of $150,000. McNamara's 
agents successfully negotiated in the 
towns of Le Kef, Souk el Arba, Ain Dra- 
ham, Bedja, Tabarka, Souk Ahras, and 
Bone for 218 mules, 95 donkeys, 28 
horses, 285 packsaddle sets, and 24 tons 
of forage. The prices paid for animals 
and remount supplies mainly reflected 
their local value and the willingness of 
Arab OAvners to sell or rent them. Mules 
and horses rented for 50 francs ($1.00) 
per day, donkeys were purchased at 
prices ranging from $295 to $385, pack- 
saddles were borrowed, and forage was 
furnished by the British as reciprocal 
aid.*' 

In Sicily, west of Mount Etna where 
the terrain was moimtainous, the Sev- 
enth Army used mule trains even more 
extensively than the II Corps had done 
in Tunisia. A small number of animals 
came from Bizerte, but most of Patton's 
4,000 beasts of burden bore the brand 
of Mussolini's army. Others were com- 
mandeered along the route of advance 
or were bought or rented from liberated 
Sicilians. The latter transaction marked 
an improvement over the II Corps' 
methods. In (ompany with an Ameri- 



can veterinarian, procurement officers 
of the divisions traveled from town to 
town — Alimena, St. Caterina, Sierra di 
Falco, and San Catelda, to cite the itin- 
erary of the 3d Infantry Division's pro- 
curement section — directing the native 
police to corral pack animals. In the 
presence of an official, an Italian veteri- 
narian, and the animal's owner, arrange- 
ments were made for the animals' sale 
or rental. The customary fee was 50 lire 
per day, but each animal was appraised 
and an agreement reached that the 
owner ^vould be paid a specified amount 
if the animal was lost or killed. The 
average prices were $150 per mule, $120 
per horse, and $40 per donkey. The 3d 
Division also rented carts and wagons 
at $60 and saddles at $40. With the un- 
derstanding that their property would 
be returned, most owners painted or 
branded their animals. In Sicily, more 
than a third ^vere killed by enemy ac- 
tion and many other animals were ren- 
dered imserviceable because of bad feet, 
saddlesores, or general debility. *- 

Animal transport also proved to be 
necessary in Italy. With years of experi- 
ence behind them, the Germans were 
demonstrating the advantage that 4,000 
animals per infantry division could give 
in terrain unfavorable to mechanized 
trains. General Clark saw the lesson. 
Having been in Italy less than a week, 
he told his chief of staff: "I am im- 
pressed ^vith the pack train which the 
3d Division has. We are going to need 
more of this type of transportation." 



" Ltr, G— I II Corps to CofS II Corps, 27 Apr 43, 
sub: Rpt of Animal and Equip Proc Activities; 
Memo, G— 4 II Corps for Finance Off, 19 Apr 43. 
G-4 Jnl II Corps, 16 Apr-14 May 43. 



" (1) Rpt of Opns SUSA in Sicilian Campaign, p. 
F,-37. (2) Ltrs, 2d Lt Chester to CG 3d Inf Div, 
2, 5, 7 Aug 43, sub: Convoy; Ltr, 2d Lt Clyde F. 
Howe to CG 3d Div, 17 Aug 43, sub: Mule Trip. 
Both in Hist Br OQMG. (3) 1st Lt Richard L. 
Walk, "Purchasing and Contracting Overseas," 
OMTSJ, VII, No. 2 (12 January 1945), 20-21. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



239 



From Caserta, initially, Tate set the 
Fifth Army's estimate at 1,300 mules. 
Filling the G-4 request was another 
matter. Sullivan's first call on Painter 
asked for 900 pack animals. For these 
the Quartermaster Section, Peninsular 
Base Section, wholly unfamiliar \vith 
animal matters, scoured the Neapolitan 
area for three weeks, sent agents to 
Sicily, and called upon the inexperi- 
enced Civil Affairs commissioners of 
AFHQ to set up an allocation policy on 
animals, forage, and equipment. Be- 
cause of these hampering factors only 
316 mules reached the Fifth Army dur- 
ing November 1943. Concurrently, the 
French Expeditionary Corps arrived, 
ascended into the Apennines, and, being 
more familiar with animal trains, in- 
sisted on receiving good remounts. In 
Naples, Painter immediately raised his 
estimates to 20,000 animals, searched for 
excavalrymen to tend his animal lines, 
sought veterinarians, and called on Mid- 
dleswart to obtain a remount squadron 
from the United States.*^ 

Painter ^vas attempting to establish a 
remount service when most minds were 
on jeeps, trucks, and petroleum. The 
War Department, Middles^vart reported, 
carried no remount squadrons on its ac- 
tive rolls. Painter immediately sought 
relief from Italy's manpo\\'er and U.S. 
replacement depots. Shoes, nails, hal- 
ters, and saddles were just as scarce as 
men and mules, and at first a weird as- 
sortment of tack and gear was assembled. 
Initially, such good grain stocks as had 
not been carried off by the Germans 



*» (1) Quoted in Fifth Army History, II, 67. (2) 
Poore Journal, Nov-Dec 43. (3) QM Supply in 
Fifth Army, pp. 1&-19. 



were claimed by Allied commissioners. 
Fields of local forage yielded roughage 
of poor quality. Having consumed poor 
Italian feed, the 3d Division's ill-shod 
mules lost some fifty pounds each during 
their first November fortnight of work. 
Two months later the situation was no 
better, and Clark wanted action. Each 
ascending ridge of the Apennines had 
cost many lives, and the squads holding 
the gains had to be supplied by pack 
animals or the outposts sacrificed. 

Such persuasive appeals prodded the 
Fifth Army and Peninsular Base Section 
to accelerate the delivery of sound pack 
trains. Sullivan exhausted all local re- 
sources. Allied commissioners, who nec- 
essarily had to screen and control all 
animal bidders, hurried plans to obtain 
mules outside Italy. Two Sardinian 
trains, each containing 600 animals, ar- 
rived on the mainland. Yet Italy itself 
remained the prime source of supply. 
Early in December 1943 Painter finally 
found an American officer to head the 
Quartermaster Remount Service, Penin- 
sular Base Section. This man was Lt. 
Col. Sebe J. Houghton, an excavalry- 
man, ^vho had served five years on the 
Cavalry Board in Washington. 

Painter had created the Remount 
Service without the guidance of a War 
Department Table of Organization and 
Equipment or the established experi- 
ences of predecessors. Houghton quickly 
expanded the service. The 2610th and 
6742d Remount Depots, both overhead 
units, operated stations at Persano, Bag- 
noli, and Santa Maria. At the end of 
January Houghton's agents were pur- 
chasing an average of 200 animals each 
week. On 27 February 1944 the 6742d 
established the policy of keeping in its 
yard 10 percent of the total animal 



240 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



strength of Fifth Army animals as re- 
placements. Chutes, racks, fences, 
troughs, and cutting pens were built, 
and slowly from a small picket line 
the Remount Service began to grow un- 
til eventually it accumulated 15,000 pack 
animals, of which 11,000 were issued to 
combat troops. Thousands of animals 
also went through remount depots for 
reconditioning or disposal. Less than 
2,900 animals arrived from the United 
States, and these did not work in the 
field until the last weeks of the war. 
The 10th Mountain Division had a 
strength of 200 French and Sardinian 
horses, 560 American horses, and 500 
American mules. The 6742d and the 
2610th also struggled to fill their per- 
sonnel rosters. Initially, Painter found 
all replacement depots closed to him. 
Gradually he received the men, but they 
were inexperienced and had to be trained 
on the job. Veterinarians were lacking 
until May 1944, when the first of them, 
Maj. Herbert F. Sibert, reported to 
Houghton. At the same time the first 
equipment arrived from the United 
States, consisting of medicines, nails, 
shoes, and clipping machines. Then the 
push for Rome began, trucks were used, 
and the Remount Service momentarily 
breathed more easily.** 

In Italy, the requisitioning and pric- 
ing policy was similar to that in Sicily, 
but initially the scarcity of animals 
forced Houghton to modify the Army's 
traditionally high physical standards. 
His agents paid as much as $250 for a 
horse or $300 for a mule that might 
carry one load of ammunition and then 
be suited only for the auction block. 



It might then be sold at a 300 percent 
profit, its carcass later to appear in the 
black market. In the interests of ex- 
pediency, too, Houghton had sacrificed 
his regard for camouflage. In Italy, 
black and brown mules were rarer than 
white and grey ones. Initially, pack 
trains of light-colored animals presented 
conspicuous targets on ground once held 
by the enemy and now carefully pin- 
pointed by German artillery. Until an 
ingenious quartermaster conceived the 
idea of spraying the animals with a 5 
percent solution of potassium permanga- 
nate, which effectively darkened and 
perfumed hair and hide for a month or 
more, white mules suffered high casual- 
ties. 

Like good mules, good hay was also at 
a premium. Toward the end of April 
1944 rather daring plans were worked 
out to get forage from the other side of 
the Volturno River. Special permission 
had to be obtained from the Fifth Army 
for a thousand "hay raiders" — Italian 
volunteers — to cross the river and enter 
the combat zone. The operation in- 
volved many carts, trucks, baling ma- 
chines, and other equipment, but the 
harvest was worth the effort as some 3,500 
tons of very scarce hay were gathered. 
It was placed in a new depot at Falcione 
Monragoni very close behind the lines.*® 

For the remainder of the war in Italy, 
Remount Service was essentially an 
American co-ordinating agency to in- 
sure that Italian mules and equipment 
were provided in sufficient quantities for 
Italian pack units. By the end of 1944, 
the muleteers of the Fifth Army's fifteen 
pack companies, organized according to 



** (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 232-33, 237-38, 245, 248- 
49. (2) QM Supply in Fifth Army, p. 41. 



« (1) Hist QM PBS, p. 237. (2) Hist PENBASE, 
III, 81. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



241 



!f(..*?f />,'•. 




American Pack Unit waiting for Italian muleteers to clear the trail. February 1944. 



Italian T/O's and administered by the 
2ioth Italian Infantry Division, were al- 
most entirely Italian. The fifteen com- 
panies were organized into five bat- 
talions which in turn were under the 
2oth Pack Group. In addition to mule- 
teers, these units provided porters for 
the final stage of delivery to combat 
units. Each company contained an aver- 
age of 11 officers and 380 enlisted men, 
and 260 mules and 12 riding horses. It 
normally supported a U.S. infantry bat- 
talion. There was little that was not of 
Italian origin. Peninsular Base Section's 
stables at Persano, Santa Maria near 



Capua, Bagnoli, Grosseto, and Pisa were 
former Italian breeding agencies or race 
tracks. Most animal equipment was 
locally made. Feed bags, breast straps, 
bridles, canvas buckets, halters, and har- 
ness buckles originated in the small sad- 
dleries of Naples. Even the small and 
lightweight Italian pack carrier was pre- 
ferred over the American cargo saddle 
that was too large for Italian breeds. As 
was the case in procuring other Class II 
and IV supplies, Painter, and later Bare, 
assisted Italian contractors by furnishing 
them raw materials. Canvas for feed 
bags was supplied. Coal and iron were 



242 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



furnished those who forged snaps, rings, 
rivets, and mule and horse shoes, al- 
though the contractor sent his own labor 
to salvage yards for scrap metal. Simi- 
larly, the contractor who agreed to sup- 
ply oats hired his own help for sacking 
feed, but the quartermaster provided the 
bags as well as the transportation to de- 
liver the laborers to and from the job. 

At the close of the Po valley campaign, 
there was an excess of animals. Having 
retreated hastily, the enemy abandoned 
thousands of fine draft and riding horses. 
Many had been brought from Germany 
and Austria early in the war. Others 
were of finest Italian breeds. When hos- 
tilities ended the Remount Service cor- 
ralled all animals at San Martino De 
Spino, formerly an Italian cavalry school. 
Ultimately Allied commissioners dis- 
tributed the captured animals among 
those farmers who had assisted in the 
liberation of Italy.*" The fact that the 
last stable closed without one epidemic 
ever having scourged Remount Service's 
herds is evidence enough that quarter- 
masters and veterinarians had accom- 
plished their remount mission in Italy, 
especially when the multitude of stock 
sources is considered. 

Remount service in southern France 
dated from 20 October 1944, when Col. 
Louis G. Gibney landed at Marseille 
with half of the 6742d QM Remount 
Depot. Movement orders from Persano, 
Italy, had been issued at the beginning 
of the month, but covered only the ten 



*» (1) Fifth Army History, III. 68. (2) QM Supply 
in Fifth Army, pp. 75-76. (3) Msg L- 16628, Larkin 
to WD, 22 Apr 44. OQMG MED 311. 2. (4) Ltr, 
Maj H. M. Rhett to Remount Br OQMG, 3 Jan 
45, sub: Pack Mules MTO. OQMG MED 319.1. 
(5) Memo, Asst Remount Off PBS for Houghton, 1 
Apr 44, sub: Harness Gear. Sullivan Papers. (6) 
Hist QM PBS, pp. 245, 248-49. 



officers and fifty enlisted men of the 
detachment. There was a two weeks' 
delay until shipping space could be found 
for 700 mules, an integral and invaluable 
part of the unit. At the Delta Base 
staging area, the depot assumed com- 
mand over an Italian service unit, and 
was shortly redesignated the 6835th QM 
Remount Depot. After a month of com- 
parative inactivity in the coastal area, the 
6835th moved to Is-sur-Tille, a rail cen- 
ter near Dijon, where it came under 
GONAD command and was attached to 
the 71st QM Base Depot. On 25 Novem- 
ber it received the designation Remount 
Depot Q-581, which had previously 
identified a similar installation at Pisa, 
Italy. At Is-sur-Tille, and later at Chau- 
mont and Rambervillers, the 6835th kept 
a reserve of 600 mules and 50 horses at 
all times, and maintained a large vet- 
erinary hospital and rehabilitation farm. 
Horses were obtained by local procure- 
ment through French agencies and many 
more were captured and turned in by 
the combat units. There was an actual 
surplus of horses and a considerable 
number were shipped to Italy, but mules 
were scarce, most of them coming from 
the United States. Hay and forage were 
at first procured through French chan- 
nels, but the quality was unsatisfactory, 
and beginning in December the depot 
obtained such supplies through the 
GONAD purchasing officer.*^ 

Beginning in October 1944, Seventh 
Army troops in the Vosges encountered 
conditions similar to those in the moun- 



" (1) Hist QM PBS, pp. 232, 237. (2) Unit History, 
6835th QM Remount Depot. Hist Br OQMG. (2) 
Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 43. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



243 



tains of Italy, and requested pack units 
for forward support. The 5 13th QM Pack 
Company, a Negio unit, was transferred 
from Italy to the Dragoon area, arriving 
in late November. It provided support 
for the infantry of the 45th and 103d 
Divisions, and \vas the only unit of its 
type in the Emopean theater.*"* Organ- 
ized under T/O 10-118, this unit had 
two officers and seventy-five enlisted 
men, or about one quarter of the 
strength of the Italian-type units. Since 
the U.S. unit did not perform porter 
service, its manpower was ample to han- 
dle its T/O allowance of 298 animals. 
The 513th proved able to handle its rated 
cargo capacity of twenty tons (five tons 
per platoon) with excellent efficiency as 
long as the round trip for the pack ani- 
mals did not exceed one day.*^ 



fixed laundries in the communications 
zone where they were established at the 
dozen largest salvage depots between 
Marseille and Brest, but in the use of 
mobile field imits and mechanical de- 
vices the Americans lagged far behind 
the British and French. The best that 
could be done for the front-line soldier 
was to replace his soiled outer garments. 
Washing undergarments and socks re- 
mained an individual responsibility. 
Nothing illustrated the poverty of the 
bath and laundry program in the combat 
zone as dramatically as the results of 
inspections that followed the 1918 armis- 
tice. Reports showed that 90 percent of 
the fighting force had body lice, and a 
typhus epidemic was feared imminent. 

Mobile and Static Laimdries 



Clean Linens and Shoivers 

Among the varied housekeeping duties 
performed by the Quartermaster Corps, 
helping the soldier to keep his body and 
his clothes clean was one of the most 
basic. But if this service was an obvious 
one, it was also relatively new. Before 
the turn of the twentieth century, a 
detachment at a post, camp, or station 
hired its own laundresses or made con- 
tracts Avith commercial laundries. In 
1909 the Quartermaster Corps established 
post laundries with funds appropriated 
for general supplies. During World War 
I the overseas program expanded to pro- 
vide delousing and bathing facilities as 
well. The American Expeditionary 
Forces realized considerable success with 



*M0 FiUh Army History, TI, 249-50. (2) QM 
Supply in ETO, VIII, 88-89. 

'"QM Supply in ETO, VIII, 222-23. 



In spite of this ominous development, 
the War Department gave only desultory 
consideration after the war to mobile 
laundries. Everyone knew that immacu- 
late linen had never won battles. When 
the Medical Department sought assist- 
ance in planning for hospital laimdry 
service, the Quartermaster Corps re- 
ferred The Surgeon General to a laun- 
dry machinery manufacturer. This firm 
indicated that no mobile laundry blue- 
prints were available. Not until after 
the fall of France in June 1940 did the 
War Department allocate funds for the 
purchase of experimental laundries. 
Shortly afterward new designs assembled 
a 6-unit laundry on a single vehicle, 
easily concealed and less vulnerable to 
air attack. In subsequent months, Quar- 
termaster designers standardized a 10- 
imit semitrailer, capable of washing 125 
pounds of clothing per hour. The War 
Department then activated laundry com- 



244 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



panics, each with 16 semitrailer units, in 
increasing numbers.'^'' 

Throughout the Torch operation, 
laundry and dry cleaning services were 
sadly inadequate. The earliest service 
units were few in number and NATO- 
USA necessarily assigned them to the 
large base section hospitals. Not imtil 
the restoration of facilities at major ports 
were the mobile laundries taken for- 
ward, and even then they moved with 
field hospitals as attachments. Only after 
cleaning hospital linens could laundry 
units serve the field forces, and the laun- 
dry's sporadic assistance proved more a 
hindrance than a help when haste forced 
the return of loose and scrambled wash. 
For the most part, the field soldier 
scrubbed his own things or hired natives, 
who insisted that soap be provided and 
charged high prices. 

By mid-April 1943 Middleswart had a 
total of 17 vans at his disposal, but these 
were too few to provide adequate service 
within three base sections. Most of the 
vans remained in Morocco where they 
had been combined with commercial 
laundries. With only 1 1 of its authorized 



"• (1) Technical improvements in equipment con- 
tinued throughout World War II, but the organi- 
zation based on a company of 4 platoons, each of 
2 sections, each with 2 trailers, was retained. T/O 
10-167 o^ 21 April 1944 authorized a semimobile 
laundry company of 5 officers and 262 enlisted men. 
Operating 2 shifts a day, it could serve 48,000 men 
per week, providing each man with a clean shirt, a 
pair of socks, a towel, trousers, undershirt, and 
underdrawers, or roughly 200,000 pounds of wash. 
Normal assignment of these units was 1 per corps 
or 2 per army. ()M Supply in ETO, VIII, 227-28. 
(2) For the best general history of laundry activi- 
ties, see Louis Filler, Laundry and Related Acthn- 
ties of the Quartermaster General, QMC Historical 
Studies, 13 (Washington, 1940). (3) Operations of 
the Quartermaster Corps, U.S. Army, During the 
World War, Monograph 4, Notes on .Salvage Activi- 
ties, AEF., France (Schuylkill Arsenal, Philadelphia, 
Pa., 1929), p. 25. 



16 vans. Company D, 61st Laundry Bat- 
talion, was the first of its type to operate 
in Atlantic Base Section. At Casablanca 
this unit operated a large fixed laundry 
to which four semitrailers were attached. 
In January 1943 Company D deployed its 
other vans to Rabat, Fedala, Safi, and 
Casablanca when it appeared that the 
I Armored Corps would play a major 
security role in that part of Africa. 

Initially, D Company refused to accept 
individual laimdry bundles. On a sched- 
uled day of each week, each unit of the 
I Armored Corps assembled its fatigues, 
white cottons, and woolens in separate 
mattress covers and hauled them to the 
laundry. Thirty-six hours later the 
roughdry wash was ready. Then the 
unit separated each individual's bundle 
according to the standard Army laundry 
mark of the soldier's surname initial and 
the last four digits of his serial number. 
By this process once a week each soldier 
received a laundered shirt, a pair of 
trousers or a complete fatigue suit, a pair 
of socks, a towel, an undershirt, and a 
pair of imderdrawers. Daily linen serv- 
ice was given only to dispensaries and 
hospitals. To handle one large hos- 
pital's laimdry, French authorities sched- 
uled an evening shift of workers at one 
of their military laundries. In the sum- 
mer of 1943, Atlantic Base Section re- 
ceived equipment for several large laim- 
dries, each capable of serving 10,000 
men, and a 2,500-man dry cleaning plant. 
Using packing and crating materials, 
engineers erected a fixed plant to house 
the new equipment. 

In areas as comparatively undeveloped 
as North Africa and Sicily, laundry offi- 
cers encountered countless difficulties in 
using commercial facilities. Soap pow- 
ders, bleaches, and soda ash had to be 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



245 



imported as well as steamfitters to repair 
antiquated boilers and plumbing. So 
inadequate were the local plants that 
even the smallest were commandeered. 
In Casablanca, a shop operated by one 
laundress was taken over, notwithstand- 
ing the need to assign two soldiers who 
saw that her operations were not inter- 
rupted, correct amounts of soap were 
measured, only soldiers were served, and 
just prices were charged. Local condi- 
ditions were not always at fault. In 
Torch planning quartermasters had com- 
pletely overlooked one aspect of the dry 
cleaning trade. Civilian shops refused 
to accept orders unless first issued clean- 
ing fluid. Quartermaster sought such 
solvents in Ordnance shops. Politely, 
the issue was refused because solvents 
were needed for cleaning weapons and 
engines. When the first two convoys 
failed to bring Quartermaster cleaning 
fluids, laundry officers lost their con- 
tracts. In Sicily the unsanitary condi- 
tion of village laundries made it impos- 
sible to use them even temporarily. 
Military laundries assigned to repair and 
salvage work had to ask that their full 
load of equipment be forwarded from 
North Africa." 

In Italy the laundry and dry cleaning 
service developed tremendously under 
Colonel Ela's guiding hand. His laun- 
dries had a dual purpose within the sal- 
vage program, that of providing clean 
linen for hospitals, troops, and organiza- 
tions, and that of washing clothing and 
equipment turned in for renovation or 
rags. On 6 October 1943 the first unit 



" (1) Pounder Rpt, p. 87. (2) Frink Rpt. (3) Cir 
49, Hq MBS, I Apr 43. (4) Lir, Larkin to Eisen- 
hower, sub: Quarterly Rpt on Laundry and Dry 
Cleaning Opns. Hist Br OQMG. (5) Hist IBS QM 
Sec, p. 4. Hist Br OQMG. 



in Naples, the 496th Laundry Company, 
arrived at the site of Mussolini's fair- 
grounds near Bagnoli. Bags of soiled 
hospital bedclothes greeted them. For a 
time a lily pad pool was the only source 
of water, and sixteen trailers dropped 
their hoses into this single reservoir. 
Three weeks later, the 497th debarked at 
the Bagnoli pier, and in the absence of its 
own vans it commandeered two civilian 
laundries in order to help the 496th. 

Because of the widespread destruction 
in Naples — where boiler rooms had been 
blasted by bombs, buildings gutted by 
fire, and equipment rusted from exposure 
— engineers completely reconstructed sev- 
eral laundries. In others, they replaced 
roofs, floors, and windows. Extractors 
and steamers were rebuilt from salvaged 
sheet metal and plate. Gears were rede- 
signed and cut in local machine shops. 
Searching for sources of electricity, Ela 
learned that weeks would pass before 
high-tension lines could be restrung to 
his main plant. Further investigation 
revealed that an underground conduit 
had once been laid in the vicinity. 
Engineers located the line, found it 
usable, and averted considerable delay. 

The 497th opened the first fixed mili- 
tary laundry in Naples on 29 November 
1943- Two days later the first ironed 
sheets and pillowcases brightened beds 
of base section hospitals. Working 
around the clock, seven days per week, 
the 497th eventually freshened linens for 
thirty-two hospitals, all of which received 
twenty-four-hour service. Notwithstand- 
ing the relief afforded by the renovated 
plants, construction began in June 1944 
to house a 10,000-man laundry. It even- 
tually became one of the largest works 
of its kind in the theater. Elements of 
the 424th operated it. 



246 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Until the Anzio front became static, 
casualties there were high and hospitals 
busy. Enemy shellbursts seriously dam- 
aged both the hospital and its attached 
laundry thereby adding to the workload 
of Neapolitan laundries. Nevertheless, 
it was decided not to replace the ex- 
pensive and scarce washing machinery 
on the beachhead. Thereafter Ela took 
advantage of the LST shuttle service. 
When working at maximum efficiency, 
fifteen 21/2-ton trucks relayed the com- 
plete linen supply of one Anzio hospital 
to Naples and returned a fresh stock to 
the beachhead twenty-four hours later." 

Ela's laundrymen, collecting the wool- 
ens of winter, followed the Fifth Army 
to the Arno. In July and August base 
section laundries handled twelve million 
pounds, the highest figure of the cam- 
paign. The 496th was one of the few 
Quartermaster units to halt in Rome, 
where it served a large base hospital and 
one of Italy's favorite rest camps. When 
the enemy retired from Leghorn and 
Pisa, Ela's search for commercial laun- 
dries was complicated by the widespread 
devastation. In all of Leghorn, a city 
of 125,000, he found one small laundry 
and dry cleaning plant intact. In his- 
toric Pisa, on the other hand, a former 
clothing factory Avas imdamaged and 
fourteen ^vool presses remained in the 
building. Operations were temporarily 
thwarted when the Arno inundated Pisa 
with four feet of water. Installation 
of ne^v equipment for a 10,000-man plant 
was shortly imdertaken thereafter. By 
mid-December, the 631st Laundry Com- 
pany had tested the machinery, hired 
Italian operators, and trained them as 
sorters, markers, and ironers. Business 



opened on 1 January 1945. Using a 
floor plan which permitted a circular 
flow of work, the 631st supervised pro- 
duction with a minimum of interfer- 
ence, reaching an output of 8,000 pieces 
daily, plus 2,000 to 3,000 salvaged gar- 
ments returned to stock. For a while 
the Pisa plant was close enough to the 
front to handle dry cleaning for the com- 
bat soldier. Over the plant's counters, 
combat air crews and base section troops 
enjoyed a considerable amount of per- 
sonalized service. In Florence, which, 
like Pisa, had suffered comparatively 
little damage, another civilian plant was 
utilized. By the end of the Italian cam- 
paign nine companies, plus a separate 
platoon, were operating laundries which 
stretched from Naples to Pistoia. Sup- 
plementing the many fixed laundries 
were mobile units supervised by several 
American enlisted men and one officer 
and employing Italian Army service 
units and later German prisoners of 
war. In Italy the monthly wash of Pen- 
insular Base Section's laundries rose 
from a half-million pounds in January 
1944 to more than ten million pounds 
in May 1945." 

Although the bulk of laundry work 
was performed in the base section, and 
troops there were the beneficiaries of a 
laundry and dry cleaning service which 
closely resembled that in the United 
States, the combat soldiers were not al- 
together neglected. Mobile laundries 
^vent into the combat zone, but pri- 
marily to supplement a shower pro- 
gram. The roughdry Avash and issue of 
used items were necessary features of a 
large-scale field operation. Neverthe- 
less it was possible to provide a degree 



Hist QM PBS, p. 174. 



'''Ibid., pp. 174-75. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



247 



of cleanliness under field conditions that 
virtually eliminated louse-borne diseases 
from the Italian front. 

Since the first laundrymen ashore in 
southern France were veterans of North 
Africa, Sicily, and Italy, they brought 
typical Mediterranean procedures to the 
Dragoon area. The 549th QM Laundry 
Company, a VI Corps unit, landed on 
D-day and kept close behind the combat 
troops during their s^vift northward ad- 
vance. The headquarters and two pla- 
toons of the 498th QM Laundry Com- 
pany, also Mediterranean veterans, had 
two civilian laundries in operation in 
Marseille by mid-September. By the 
end of that month the 3d Platoon had 
been assigned to CONAD and departed 
for Dijon. There it operated a civilian 
laundry and assumed control over two 
Italian laundry companies, the 7159th 
and 7169th, during October. For closer 
co-ordination with the salvage repair 
program, which involved a large-scale 
renovation of clothing, most of these 
laundry units moved to Vesoul in late 
October. The 898th Semimobile Laun- 
dry Company from northern France and 
the 7i72d Italian Laundry Company had 
also assembled there by the time that 
southern France became part of the Eu- 
ropean theater." 

Bath and Clothing 
Exchange Program 

In the combat zone — where soldiers 
were constantly exposed to dirt and sand, 
water and oil, sweat and blood — the bath 
program "^vas as difficult to implement as 
was the laundry program. Few of the 



" (i) Unit Histories, 498th, 549th QM Laundry 
Cos. Hist Br OQMG. (2) GONAD History, II, 835- 
60. 



100,000 men in the II Corps could bathe 
in Tunisia, and fewer still in Sicily, 
where no shower equipment was avail- 
able. This lesson was not lost to Sulli- 
van and, while still in French Morocco, 
he sought ways of providing a 300,000- 
man force with a bath and clean cloth- 
ing program. As each soldier was nec- 
essarily burdened with a resupply of bar- 
racks bag clothing, most of which would 
be better used if part of a steadily ro- 
tating inventory, Sullivan proposed to 
combine the features of a clothing ex- 
change and a bathing system. ^^ 

This concept became even more com- 
pelling after the Fifth Army landed at 
Salerno. The first sterilization and bath 
company did not arrive for two months, 
few divisions were in rest areas, and the 
bath unit could be exploited only by 
service and rear echelon troops. To 
compound the frustrations, when the 3d 
Infantry Division retired from the line 
after the hard-fought Volturno battle, 
the heavy rains made it impossible to use 
the existing equipment and the men 
bathed only under a shower improvised 
by engineers.^® 

By this time, Colonel Tate, the G-4 
of Fifth Army, was echoing Sullivan's 
sentiments for a bath-clothing exchange 
program. Presenting the idea to the 
G-4's of the II and VI Corps, Tate 
wrote: 

I am confident that under the present 
system, there is a great waste of clothing 
due to: (1) The individual soldier discard- 
ing all but his most immediate needs when 
under pressure of combat; (2) throwing 
away soiled clothing when changes are made 
due to inability to have such clothing 
laundered in forward areas. ... I am con- 
vinced that all clothing, except that worn 



^"'Sullivan Diary, 30 Jun 43. 

^'Ltr, Dill to OQMG, Nov 43. OQMG MED 457 



248 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



by the soldier, plus one change of under- 
wear and socks, should be withdrawn . . . 
and carried in bulk, split between Regi- 
mental and Divisional trains, as a reserve to 
replace soiled and worn clothing as needed. ^^ 

Sullivan promptly instituted this sys- 
tem in the Naples rest area. He directed 
Colonel Currey of the 94th Quartermas- 
ter Battalion to carry out the program 
"in spirit as well as in word." In the 
interests of speed Sullivan set aside a 
basic supply of clothing for 5,000 men. 
Eager that every man derive the benefits 
of the new program, he encouraged Cur- 
rey to station guards at all tent exits and 
prevent any soldier from departing ^vith 
his dirty clothing. Exchanges opened 
in the Fifth Army's rest centers on 20 
November 1943 and, after the second 
week, Colonel Currey reported to Sulli- 
van that more than 4,000 men had used 
the facilities. To these men, the 94th 
had issued fifteen different types of cloth- 
ing, from shoelaces to overcoats, in quan- 
tities varying from two bath towels to 
3,243 pairs of wool socks. Noting the 
contribution of this innovation to the 
health, welfare, and morale of this com- 
mand, Clark acknowledged its immedi- 
ate success in a letter to The Quarter- 
master General. ^^ Reflecting his own 
pleasure. General Ryder, commander of 
the 34th Infantry Division, spelled out 
the earliest details of the program. He 
wrote to Clark: 

The soldier walked into the undressing 
tent, where he disrobed, placing the cloth- 



"Memo, Tate for G-4 II Corps and G-4 VI 
Corps, 13 Nov 43. Sullivan Papers. 

^Quotation from Ltr, Sullivan to Currey, i8 Nov 
43, sub: Clothing Exchange for Troops in Rest 
Areas; Ltr, Currey to Sullivan, 1 1 Dec 43, sub: 
Rpt, Clothing Exchange Opns in Fifth Army Rest 
Centers; Ltr, Clark to Gregory, 18 Dec 53. All in 
Sullivan Papers. 



ing for which he required no replacement, 
together with his valuables or personal 
property, in a bag which he would redeem 
by means of a tag prior to leaving the unit. 
He was then given a cake of soap, took his 
shower, came out, was given a towel, and 
then was given clean clothes from the skin 
out, consisting of underwear, sox, shirt, and 
trousers, and, if required, field jacket, leg- 
gings and shoes. The entire operation took 
place under canvas and the tents were well 
heated, including the dressing tent. The 
unit, operating in this manner, serviced 
two thousand individuals per day. 

Hoping that the tents could be brought 
closer to the front, Ryder recommended 
that a similar imit with a capacity of 900 
to 1,000 individuals per day be attached 
to each infantry division. Given such 
facilities and a favorable tactical situa- 
tion, every soldier could be processed 
through the exchange once every two 
weeks. Other division commanders were 
interviewed. They concurred with Ry- 
der on the project's desirability, but 
most did not want the responsibility of 
having such a unit added to their train. 
In January 1944 the exchange unit was 
made available to British and French 
troops serving under General Clark's 
command, and they similarly applauded 
it.^9 

While the exchanges became a fixture 
at rest areas, a miniature program was 
started in the army area on 14 December 
by the 62d Quartermaster Battalion, Lt. 
Col. Lawrence C. Page, Jr., command- 
ing. Eventually composed of two laun- 
dry companies and four sterilization and 
bath companies, the 62d served more 
than 900,000 men in its first six months 



^° Quotation from Ltr, Ryder to Clark, 30 Dec 43, 
sub: Recommendation for Continued Use of Bath- 
Laundry-Clothing Exchange Unit; Memo, Sullivan 
for Tate, 29 Dec 43; Ltr, Sullivan to Tate, 9 Feb 
44, sub: QM Hist Data. All in Sullivan Papers. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



249 



of operation, from December 1943 to 
June 1944. Because field hospitals had 
the highest priority, Colonel Page de- 
ployed his laimdry platoons so that they 
could simultaneously handle hospital 
linens and the clothes turned in to his 
eight bath and clothing exchanges. In 
the army area this required constant and 
careful reconnaissance — not without its 
difficulties. Page did not control selec- 
tion of hospital sites, yet each of his 
bathing or laundry points required a 
water supply capable of serving 3,000 
men per day."" 

Pleased as he was that the fighting man 
welcomed these services and wanted 
them at hand, Sullivan preferred that 
exchanges should be located in rest areas 
where a water supply was accessible and 
to which men could repair. Not a minor 
consideration was the fact that the semi- 
mobile units, weighing ten tons or more, 
were restricted to surfaced roads and rea- 
sonably level terrain. The satisfactory 
shower and clothing exchange required 
a clear water supply of 20,000 gallons for 
every sixteen hours of operations, heavy 
tentage, additional space to store several 
thousand clothing sets, and portable 
lighting facilities. Sullivan contended, 
too, that each operating unit was noisy, 
had a telltale silhouette, and would be 
far removed from any replacement parts 
if machinery was damaged by enemy 
artillery." 

These unwieldy features led Colonel 
Page to recommend in November 1944 



that a new and more compact company 
be organized, capable of rendering closer 
combat support. Although the fumiga- 
tion and bath company — a small unit 
and one which broke down into self- 
contained platoons — had been recently 
introduced into Fifth Army, it still de- 
pended on an attached laundry platoon. 
By combining them Page felt that each 
bath platoon would be self-sufficient. It 
was to serve 225 men an hour. Because 
it would not be pulling heavy trailers 
and vans, the proposed bath and clothing 
exchange company could move more 
rapidly, and excessive travel by all par- 
ties would be eliminated. For his pro- 
posal, Colonel Page earned a medal. But 
the War Department rejected the sug- 
gestion on the ground that its applica- 
bility was limited. Meanwhile, General 
Sullivan felt that he could not advance 
the shower facilities to railheads, but he 
brought the clothing exchange system 
there. Truck drivers reaped the first 
benefits in February 1944. "A wet cold 
truck driver," he maintained, "who can 
be given a hot bowl of soup and fresh 
clothing has less chance of a wreck and 
thereby contributes to the war effort." ^^ 
Meanwhile the divisions improvised 
their own relief. In February 1944 the 
34th Division established its own shower 
program in its rest area, with quarter- 
masters operating the clothing exchange 
and engineers operating a 24-head 
shower. Within the next six months the 
3d and 88th Infantry Divisions started 
similar programs. On the day following 
its first combat mission in February 1945, 



°"Ltr, Sullivan to Clark, 12 Dec 44, sub: Recom- 
mendation for Award of Bronze Star Medal. Sulli- 
van Papers. 

•"Sullivan Diary, 11 Jan 44; 3d Ind, Sullivan to 
Tate, 30 Jun 4J, sub: Laundry and Bath Units. 
Both in Sullivan Papers. 



°^ (1) LtT and Inds, Page to Sullivan, 10 Nov 44, 
sub: Recommended Bath and Clothing Exchange 
Co. Sullivan Papers. (2) Quoted in Sullivan Diary, 
3 Feb 44. 



250 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the loth Mountain Division began a 
comparable service. The improvised 
divisional shower equipment was com- 
pact and easily moved. Unlike the 
semimobile sterilization and bath unit, 
which provided less shower space, this 
equipment could be brought to the 
troops and put into operation in twenty 
minutes. For one division's experi- 
ment Sullivan sent 500 units of clothing. 
Another division was unable to institute 
a shower program immediately, but it 
experimented with the issue, two to 
three times weekly, of clean, dry socks, 
making deliveries through the ration 
railheads. 

By the fall of 1944, the army quarter- 
master standardized his clothing ex- 
change program for the forward units. 
Each exchange was equipped to main- 
tain a daily turnover of 1,000 shirts, 
trousers, drawers, and undershirts, and 
5,000 pairs of socks. Each corps was 
directed to regulate the use of these 
exchanges by the separate imits. The 
organizations so designated brought their 
soiled garments to a laundry where they 
were provided with a receipt authorizing 
the exchange or initial issue of a like 
quantity of clean clothes. 

One of the obvious results of the 
clothing exchange was to eliminate the 
"bundle" system of laundry and to reduce 
the difficulties of personalized service 
under combat conditions. Equally sig- 
nificant — as an economy measure — was 
that troops accepted stocks of used cloth- 
ing they normally were reluctant to 
wear. In the interests of speedier han- 
dling the Fifth Army established a new 
sizing policy for items which had passed 
through the clothing-exchange, laundry, 
and salvage systems. Instead of issuing 
by the conventional tariff — which con- 



sisted of about thirty sizes for shirts and 
forty for trousers — clothing was assem- 
bled into three broad categories: small, 
medium, and large. Traditionally, this 
practice was repulsive to troops, but a 
survey of divisions elicited approval of 
three sizes. The soldier who had not 
bathed for several weeks, and whose 
clothing was offensive, was not likely to 
complain about the minor inconveni- 
ence of wearing garments not his own 
or loose fitting as long as they were well 
sterilized and freshly laundered.*'^ 

By contrast with Italian conditions, 
warfare in the south of France was ex- 
tremely mobile, at least in the early 
stages, and it was impossible to provide 
comparable comforts for the combat 
troops. Seventh Army's veteran divi- 
sions had outrun their service units as 
well as their supplies, and could not ex- 
pect the services they had enjoyed in 
Italy the previous ^vinter. Having left 
the mild Riviera zone for forested sub- 
alpine terrain, they needed extra cloth- 
ing rather than an exchange, and such 
fuel as they could obtain was used for 
heating tents and billets rather than for 
baths. The 36th QM Company re- 
ported in early November that it was 
organizing a sock exchange for the 36th 
Division. Public baths were a feature 
of most French cities, and were used by 
the troops whenever possible, especially 
when they were rotated out of the line 
for a brief rest. CONAD provided as 
much assistance as possible. The 814th 
Sterilization Company, at Vesoul and 
later at Strasbourg, speeded up the cloth- 
ing salvage operations already described, 
and the 865th and 7164th Fumigation 



•" Ltr, Sullivan to Ramsey, 8 Apr 44; Ltr, Bates 
to Doriot, 1 Aug 44. Both in Sullivan Papers. 



ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE LINE 



251 



and Bath Companies, the latter an Ital- 
ian service unit, were sent to Vaivre 
near Vesoul in November, and on to 
Luneville in January.*'* 

The contrasts between climate, ter- 
rain, and tactics in the successive combat 
areas of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and 
southern France emphasize the variable 



•" (i) Unit History, 36th QM Co. Hist Br OQMG. 
(2) GONAD History, II, 835-60. 



conditions and flexible procedures char- 
acteristic of the Mediterranean theater. 
This flexibility was also a favorable re- 
sult of comparatively small-scale opera- 
tions, in which one base section sup- 
ported one army and was able to ad- 
just rapidly to the special needs of that 
army. The succeeding chapters describe 
large-scale operations in which those ele- 
ments of flexibility and rapid adjustment 
were notably lacking. 



CHAPTER IX 



The Quartermaster Establishment in the 

United Kingdom 



During 1943 the Americans in the 
British Isles followed the shifting for- 
tunes of war in the Mediterranean with 
intense interest. Successes or disap- 
pointments there had a very direct effect 
on ultimate plans for their own theater. 
Roundup had been scheduled for April, 
but all concerned were agreed that the 
Torch operation would delay a cross- 
Channel attack by at least a year. Sec- 
retary of War Henry L. Stimson, one 
of the strongest advocates of Roundup, 
had seen this clearly as early as July 1942, 
and had vainly used that argument in 
urging cancellation of the Torch op- 
eration.^ Even when enthusiasm over 
Mediterranean successes was at its height, 
there were no serious proposals to 
cancel the Bolero build-up permanent- 
ly. Yet Americans on the spot found the 
vacillating troop basis, unfirm shipping 
schedules, and low priority of their thea- 
ter almost worse than an outright repud- 
iation. They gloomily referred to Bo- 
lero as "in limbo." The various Brit- 
ish headquarters in the United King- 
dom were considerably more optimistic 
about Bolero, although opinion on 
Roundup was sharply divided. English- 
men who disapproved of Roundup as a 



suicidal venture nevertheless welcomed 
the American build-up in the United 
Kingdom. It helped secure their home 
territory against the possibility of a Ger- 
man invasion, and even permitted Brit- 
ish troops to be sent to other theaters. 
All were in agreement on the need for 
an American bomber offensive, which 
could not be launched from any other 
base. Finally, the continuance of Bo- 
lero guaranteed the presence of a com- 
bat reserve in a location where it could 
quickly exploit any sudden strategic or 
political crisis that might occur within 
Axis territory. Further than that, the 
more conservative British strategists 
would not go.-' They had seen British 
armies driven off the Continent four 
times since 1939. These were sobering 
facts that many Americans had not com- 
pletely grasped before they arrived in 
the British Isles. Therefore the new- 
comers were all the readier to admire 
the courage of those Englishmen, fortu- 
nately a majority, who were willing 



• Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On 
Active Seniice in Peace and War (New York: 
Harper and Brothers, 1947), p. 426. 



^Gordon A. Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack, 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington, 1951), pp. 95—96. The possibility that 
German troops might be withdrawn from all occu- 
pied areas in the west was taken very seriously in 
ETOUSA headquarters, and even the possibility of 
a wholesale German surrender was provided for. 
The plans to take care of these eventualities were 
given the code names Rankin B and Rankin C. 
respectively. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



253 



to ignore past defeats and try again. 
Until the end of January 1943, ETO- 
USA was essentially a subtheater com- 
manded for Eisenhower by his deputy, 
Maj. Gen. Russell P. Hartle, whose 
major duty was to forward promptly 
from Great Britain to North Africa 
whatever personnel and supplies were 
required. Early in February ETOUSA 
became a separate theater and Lt. Gen. 
Erank M. Andrews, an Air Corps officer, 
assumed command. During that month 
the U.S. forces in the theater dwindled 
to a low of 104,510, including about 
35,000 service troops, but thereafter came 
a very slow increase in strength.^ 

Revived Plans for Combat 

General Lee returned from the Casa- 
blanca Conference in January 1943 full 
of optimism for a renewed Bolero 
build-up, but his hopes were dashed 
when, at the end of February, Eisen- 
hower announced that he would need 
160,000 additional troops for Husky (the 
coming campaign in Sicily.) Clearly, 
this meant another postponement. In 
April and May there was a series of 
dramatic successes in antisubmarine op- 
erations in the Atlantic, arousing the 
hope that shipping could be found to 
support simultaneous campaigns in the 
Mediterranean and in northern Europe. 
Also in April one of the few firm deci- 
sions of the Casablanca Conference fav- 
orable to Bolero was implemented: a 
planning staff called COSSAC (Chief of 
Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander 
(Designate)) was set up under British Lt. 
Gen. Sir Frederick Morgan, and began 
an intensive study of cross-Channel 
operations. Morgan and his American 

■■' Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 129. 



deputy, Brig. Gen. Ray W. Barker, were 
comparatively junior officers and, as 
assistants to a nonexistent Supreme Com- 
mander, wielded little authority. But 
they had a talent for conceiving aggres- 
sive combat plans and working them out 
to the point where co-ordination with 
other headquarters became necessary, 
thereby arousing the interest of other 
commanders. Morgan, especially, was a 
strong personality, and firmly opposed 
to the conservative school of British 
strategy. Above all, if these men felt 
that the forces or supplies allotted for 
any aspect of the contemplated cross- 
Channel operation were too small, they 
were quick to demand reinforcements or 
higher priorities. Their anomalous 
position as aides to an imdesignated 
Supreme Commander made it possible 
to forward such recommendations direct 
to the very highest echelons. Thus the 
activities of COSSAC had a vitalizing 
effect upon Bolero planning every- 
where, but especially within ETOUSA 
headquarters.* 

In May 1943 General Andrews was 
killed in an aircraft accident, and was 
succeeded by General Devers, former 
commander of the Armored Force at 
Fort Knox, Kentucky. The choice was 
significant. Before his death, General 
Andrews had virtually completed prepa- 
ration of a detailed troop basis to replen- 
ish the weakened Eighth Air Force, and 
of plans to resume the air offensive 
against the Continent. Now an expert 
on armored forces would perform the 
same services for ground combat troops. 
In accordance with the figures developed 
during the Trident Conference at Wash- 
ington in late May, Devers called on his 
staff for a detailed troop basis to support 

* Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack, pp. 47-54- 



254 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



a force of twenty-one divisions. Early 
in July, SOS ETOUSA submitted a 
troop basis calling for 490,000 men in 
service units, including Littlejohn's re- 
quirement for 56,000 Quartermaster 
troops. This estimate, based more on 
Bolero requirements than on a forecast 
for continental operations, involved 
several considerations. The time for 
mounting a cross-Channel attack in 1944 
was getting very short, and all available 
British port capacity (150 ships a month) 
would have to be utilized fully. But this 
was possible only if the U.S. Army could 
provide half of the necessary dock labor. 
British construction programs, especially 
for troop accommodations and hospitals, 
had been curtailed during the lean 
months, and timely completion of these 
necessary buildings would now require 
large numbers of U.S. construction 
troops. Under an accelerated program, 
depots and sorting sheds would require 
more operating personnel than was used 
at the height of the 1942 build-up. The 
British would require much labor for 
their own Overlord effort. Finally, 
there had been a noticeable attrition of 
the British civilian labor force during 
the past year; at Liverpool, the average 
age of stevedores was fifty-two.^ 

Devers directed that temporary and 
local needs for labor, before the combat 
phase of Overlord began, were to be 
met by drawing on the service elements 
of combat units. He warned against 
planning to maintain a large supply 
organization in England after a French 
base had been secured. The maximum 
strength of service troops, he decreed, 

= W. K. Hancock and M. M. Cowing, British 
War Economy, "History of the Second World War" 
(London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1949), p. 
449. The annual wartime attrition of the British 
civilian labor force was about 150,000. 



would be 375,000 men, and the various 
technical services must trim their esti- 
mates to meet this figure. On 18 July 
he presented a troop basis of 375,000 
service troops and 635,000 ground com- 
bat troops to the War Department for 
approval. Of this number, 49,950 would 
be QMC personnel.^ The service troop 
portion of this estimate, as approved by 
both Army Ground Forces (AGE) and 
ASF, was a figure that remained fairly 
firm until COSSAC forced a general 
reconsideration of all troop strengths late 
in 1943. In the kaleidoscopic story of 
the troop basis, this is just a fleeting epi- 
sode, but it reveals the SOS estimate of 
the dimensions of the Overlord logis- 
tical mission and the combat command- 
er's view that the proportionate strength 
of service troops could and should be 
regulated by fiat. 

Organizational Changes in SOS 
ETOUSA and the OCQM 

In the meantime certain changes had 
taken place in organization within Head- 
quarters, ETOUSA. General Order 16 
of 26 March 1943 represents General 
Andrews' effort to redefine ETOUSA- 
SOS relationships. Lee had made a 
determined but unsuccessful effort to 
eliminate the G-4 position from the 
ETOUSA staff. G-4 remained as the 
agency to "guide SOS according to broad 
phases of plans by theater and higher 
headquarters," but all of the technical 
services were unequivocally assigned to 
SOS. The Inspector General, Adjutant 
General, Judge Advocate, and Provost 
Marshal remained under ETOUSA. 
Lee and his service chiefs were moved to 



" (1) Ruppcnthal, Logistical Support, \, 125-28. 
(2) QM Supply in ETO, VIII. 8. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



255 



London to assist ETOUSA headquarters 
in its planning functions. Operations 
would continue at Cheltenham under 
deputy service chiefs, thus reversing the 
previous arrangement. In April this 
concept was carried still further: the 
Cheltenham organization was placed 
under Brig. Gen. William G. Weaver as 
Field Deputy Commander, SOS, and 
became almost a separate headquarters. 
It assumed direct control over the base 
sections and was responsible for the 
training and combat readiness of SOS 
troop units. London Base Command of 
ETOUSA became Central Base Section, 
SOS. Thus there were again four base 
sections (Northern Ireland Base Section 
had been downgraded to a district of 
Western Base Section in December 1942). 

Late in May General Devers, the new 
theater commander, made still more 
changes. To Lee's satisfaction the posi- 
tion of G-4 was consolidated with his 
own office. SOS also assumed control of 
the Judge Advocate and Provost Mar- 
shal Divisions, the Claims Commission, 
and the new Area Petroleum Service. 
SOS now proceeded to modify its own 
structure, first eliminating the G sec- 
tions. 

In the organization that was in force 
by the end of August 1943, the four for- 
mer G sections of the staff had been 
upgraded to "chiefs" (not to be con- 
fused with the chiefs of technical serv- 
ices), and all activities of SOS headquar- 
ters were now channeled through them. 
Under this system, in theory, Littlejohn 
had access to General Lee only through 
Col. Royal B. Lord, Chief of Operations. 
Although the Chief Quartermaster con- 
tinued to be in charge of general depots, 
theoretically he could only contact them 
through General Weaver, Field Deputy 



Commander at Cheltenham, and then 
through the base section commanders. 
Similarly, his access to Quartermaster 
units was through the Chief of Training 
and Security, and to the Army Exchange 
Service through the Chief of Adminis- 
tration. In practice, only junior officers 
and official correspondence followed 
these rigid channels. Littlejohn con- 
tinued to fulfill his responsibilities by 
simple, direct action as the situation 
required. His staff saw to it that the 
proper agencies were informed of all 
action taken. ^ The arrangement was 
eminently satisfactory to Lee, who was 
able to reduce the amount of paper work 
and routine policy making requiring his 
personal attention and yet retain con- 
trol over the whole SOS organization 
through four deputies who knew in 
detail all that was happening. 

Initially the reorganization was less 
pleasing to the technical services, which 
lost a good deal of authority to the 
"chiefs" and to the base section com- 
manders. For example, the Transporta- 
tion Service lost 4irect control of ports 
and sorting: sheds, and base section com- 
manders assumed almost complete con- 
trol over personnel assignments within 
their areas. At the same time the 
OCQM lost control of motor transport 
units to the ETO Transportation Serv- 
ice, headed by Brig. Gen. Frank S. Ross. 
This was largely a matter of technical 
training and inspections, since the base 
section commanders had also assumed a 
large measure of operational control 
over these units. ^ 

These developments did not arouse 



' Littlejohn became a major general on 3 No- 
vember 1943. 

* Bykofsky and Larson, TJie Transportation 
Corps: Operations Overseas, p. 128. 



256 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



the opposition they might have engen- 
dered earlier, tor by the fall of 1943 the 
technical service staffs were furiously 
busy with more important matters. The 
Bolero build-up had recommended and 
Overlord logistical planning — no ivory 
tower staff problem, but a real plan for 
combat — was in full swing. On 18 Oc- 
tober Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley for- 
mally activated Headquarters, First U.S. 
Army, at Bristol. Most of the staff were 
drawn from his old II Corps headquar- 
ters. Several of them, including his 
quartermaster. Colonel McNamara, had 
already been in Great Britain more than 
a month studying the Overlord plans 
prepared by COSSAC.« 

The renewed emphasis on planning 
was also reflected in changes in the or- 
ganization of the OCQM. The biggest 
change came in August 1943 when all 
elements of the OCQM in any way con- 
cerned with planning were moved to 
London. This move encouraged closer 
co-ordination between Bolero and 
COSSAC planners. An enlarged Plans 
and Training Division, headed by Col. 
Albert G. Duncan, became the most im- 
portant element in the London office. 
Its training responsibilities had at first 
been confined to training literature, but 
were later extended to actual training 
and inspection of Quartermaster units 
that would participate in combat opera- 
tions. Meantime the inspection func- 
tions of the Field Service Division in 
Cheltenham were reduced to overseeing 
depots, installations, and units to re- 
main behind in the United Kingdom. 
A corresponding shift in emphasis be- 
tween London and Cheltenham also 
changed the functions of other staff di 
visions. But despite its greater impor- 

* McNamara Memoir, ch. VII. 



tance, London remained numerically 
the smaller of the two offices. In No- 
vember 1943 there were 72 QM officers 
and 86 enlisted men in the London 
headquarters, and 84 officers and 320 en- 
listed men at Cheltenham. At that time 
124 British civilians were employed in 
London and 69 in Cheltenham." Co- 
ordination between the two offices, situ- 
ated about ninety miles apart, was 
achieved by rapid courier service, fre- 
quent exchanges of staff personnel, and 
careful planning. In some respects the 
separation was actually beneficial, consti- 
tuting a rehearsal for a combat situation 
where two echelons of the OCQM 
would inevitably be separated by the 
English Channel. The organization of 
the OCQM on D minus 3 is shown in 
Chart 1. 

The Depot System 

Largely a Quartermaster responsibil- 
ity, U.S. depot operations in the United 
Kingdom began very modestly in rented 
warehouses. The War Department's 
oft-repeated directives to conserve ship- 
ping and strategic materials, make maxi- 
mum use of local resources, and respect 
British wartime rationing regulations ap- 
plied with particular stringency to auth- 
orizations for new construction in the 
British Isles in 1942. Besides the hun- 
dred thousand homes and other build- 
ings totally destroyed in the blitz, over 
a million more had been damaged. In 
Britain's moist climate, prompt repairs 
were necessary to save the contents of 
damaged buildings and even to preserve 
the structures themselves. Except for 
essential war industry, no new building 
whatever was allowed. Authorities pro- 



QM Supply in ETO, VIII, ch. 4. 



Chart 1 — OCQM Organization: 3 June 1944 



London Office 



Chief Quartermaster, ETO 



T 



Cheltenham Office 



Deputy Chief Quartermaster, Plans 



Executive Division 

Administrative Branch 
Cables Branch 
Historical Branch 
Publications Branch 



I 



1 



Deputy Chief Quartermaster, Operations 



Plans & Training Division 
Planning Branch 
Installations Branch 
Research & Statistics Branch 
Supply Branch 
Training Branch 
Troops Branch 



Personnel Division 
Officers Branch 

Civilian Personnel & PW Branch 
Enlisted Personnel & Troops Branch 



Procurement Division 
Subsistence Branch 
Purchasing & Contracting Branch 
Petroleum & Fuels Branch 
Supply Branch 



Petroleum & Fuels Division 
Planning Branch 
Operations Branch 



Graves Registration & Effects Division 
Burial Records Branch 
Cemetery Operations Branch 
Effects Branch 



Accounts Division 

Reciprocal Aid Branch 
Audit Branch 



Executive Division 
Coordination Branch 
Administration Branch 



Storage & Distribution Division 
Distribution Branch 
Service Branch 
Administration Branch 
Depot Branch 



Installations Division 
Maintenance Branch 
Laundry Branch 



Subsistence Division 
Operations Branch 
Laboratory & Menu Branch 
Bakery Branch 
Commodity Branch 



Petroleum & Fuels Division 
Administration Branch 
Operations Branch 



Field Service Division 



Supply Division 
Operations Branch 
Clothing & Equipage Branch 
Sales Store Branch 
Regular Supplies Branch 



Source: QM Supply in ETO, I, app. IX. 



258 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



vided shelter for the thousands made 
homeless by repairing, renovating, and 
adapting existing structures. The neces- 
sary construction materials were doled 
out under the strict supervision of the 
Ministry of Works.^^ 

These had been the local conditions 
when in May 1942 British General 
Wooten Avas directed to provide accom- 
modations, including storage space, for 
1,000,000 Americans before 1 April 1943. 
Wooten was Deputy Quartermaster Gen- 
eral (Liaison), commonly referred to as Q 

(Liaison) , a post specially created to co- 
ordinate logistical matters with the U.S. 
Army. Since the British system gives 
its quartermasters broad responsibilities 
for logistics, Wooten was generally re- 
garded as Lee's opposite number. He 
was also the British Army member of 
the Bolero Combined Committee 

(London) , and the Bolero Key Plans 
were issued by his office.^^ 

In the First Bolero Key Plan, Woot- 
en estimated the American storage re- 
quirement at 14,000,000 square feet of 
covered space and 26,000,000 square feet 
of hardstand — paved, drained, open stor- 
age. The rate at which this space would 
actually be used was uncertain, depend- 
ing entirely upon available shipping. 
On 24 June, SOS ETOUSA estimated 
that 300,000 to 560,000 tons of cargo 
would reach the United Kingdom by 1 
September. These uncertain figures 
were largely based on an equally tenta- 
tive estimate by the Washington Bolero 
Committee that 105,000 to 150,000 troops 
would arrive by the same date. Allow- 
ing 30 percent as a probable Quarter- 



master share of this tonnage, and 12 
square feet per ton of cargo, ETO 
Quartermaster Service would have to oc- 
cupy and organize between one and two 
million square feet of depot space in the 
next two months.^^ Construction at 
such short notice would be impossible, 
even if materials were available. Since 
the brewing and tobacco-processing in- 
dustries were hard hit by rationing and 
labor shortages, a considerable number 
of breweries and warehouses were not in 
use. Wooten arranged to requisition 
several of these, and also evacuated four 
British Army depots and turned them 
over to the Americans. The deadline 
was easily met, and because of the sud- 
den shift in supply operations to sup- 
port Torch not all of the space was 
needed. In December 1942 the U.S. 
forces began to transfer small amounts 
of storage space back to the British.^* 

Pressed by time, the U.S. Chief Quart- 
ermaster and the other technical service 
chiefs had meanwhile accepted and oc- 
cupied the only space available, irrespec- 
tive of its suitability, convenience, or 
even compliance with LT.S. minimum 
standards for safety. Many sites were 
poorly located Avith reference to planned 



" (i) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 61. (2) 
Hancock and Cowing, Ihitish War Economy, pp. 

496-97- 

"Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 62-64. 



'^ DQMG (L), Notes of a Meeting Held ... on 
24 Jun 42. USFET AG 633. 

^* By informal agreement between Generals 
Wooten and Lee, command of a military depot was 
transferred from the senior British to the senior 
U.S. officer present when more than half the 
available storage space had been occupied by the 
Americans. Even this apparently simple arrange- 
ment caused difficulties because of differences in 
British and American methods of computing stor- 
age space. (1) Memo, CO SBS to CG SOS ETO, 22 
Sep 42, sub: Command at Gen Depot G-45. USFET 
AG 323.7. (2) Ltr, Lee to Wooten, 1 Aug 42; Memo, 
SOS ETO for Wooten, 25 Dec 42, sub: Glasgow 
QM Depot; Memo. CQM for G-4 ETO, 21 Jan 44, 
sub: Asgmt of Storage Space; Memo, SOS ETO 
for CO WBS, 27 Dec 43, sub: Release of Covered 
and Open Storage Space. All in USFET AG 400.242. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



259 



ATJ<«i-.iiV'r5. 




Typical Warehouse. 
1944. 



Depot G-20 at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. January 



U.S. troop locations. Some of the facili- 
ties taken over, particularly the civilian 
establishments, were badly constructed 
and insufficiently equipped for heavy 
military use. Many were old multistor- 
ied buildings with inadequate elevators 
and poor accessibility by road and rail. 
Often they were situated in areas of 
dense traffic. Even new construction 
was not always in the best locations to 
serve American needs because the Brit- 
ish encouraged development of facilities 
in line with their own future require- 
ments.^^ 



To reduce the heavy demand from all 
services for closed space, Lee agreed to 
use open storage whenever the nature of 
the supplies would permit. About a 
third of QMC supplies could be placed 
outdoors. Pending the arrival of storage 
tents from the United States, Littlejohn 
borrowed 27,000 from the British. ^"^ Even 
this expedient presented new difficulties. 

^" 1st Ind, OCQM, 12 Oct 43, on Memo, Hq WBS 
for CQM, 20 Sep 42, sub: QM Missions of Depots 
in WBS. USFET QM 400.24, Storage. 

'"SOS ETOUSA, Staff Mtg, 4 Jul 42. USFET AG 
337- 



260 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Not every open field could be used. In 
most cases roads had to be built, rail 
lines brought to the site, and the ground 
surface conditioned to support heavy 
loads and provide rapid drainage. Uti- 
lization of open storage was also limited 
because it was harmful for many kinds 
of Quartermaster supplies, especially in 
the period before special overseas pack- 
ing became customary. By mid- 1943 
improvements in overseas packaging and 
new techniques of outdoor storage under 
canvas made it possible to store even 
sugar and flour in the open for extended 
periods. ^^ 

Once it was clear that the original 
Bolero program was being postponed 
and that a local emergency no longer 
existed, the Americans began to demand 
better storage facilities, but this was still 
impossible. The British had begun an 
extensive building program, but none 
of the new depots would be ready until 
the summer of 1943. Moreover, their 
policy was to use all available space. 
The new construction was designed to 
supplement and not to replace the older 
buildings. The Americans therefore 
began an intensive program of renova- 
tion and enlargement. Engineer troops 
provided most of the labor, and the 
Chief Engineer co-ordinated all requisi- 
tions for locally procured building ma- 
terials with Quartermaster (Liaison) and 
the Ministry of Works. 



*" (1) Personal Memo, Littlejohn for Cound, lo 
Sep 43. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. XVL item 27. 
(2) At Hilsea Depot (G-65) Lt. Col. Harold Flor- 
sheim developed a modified outdoor storage method 
which economized on canvas— a commodity in 
critically short supply. Because of his lively ititercst 
in depot management and his excellent adminis- 
tration of Hilsea, Florsheim in Septemlier 1913 was 
placed in charge of the OCQM Storage and Distri- 
bution Division. 



Engineer personnel also contributed 
materially to the program of new con- 
struction, especially of paved concrete 
hardstands. Their training and equip- 
ment made them particularly suited to 
this task. But several large and com- 
pletely new depots were also needed. 
The British provided corrugated sheet 
steel for Nissen huts but the Americans 
had to ship ingots from the United States 
to replace the steel reserves. ^^ Construc- 
tion began late in 1942, and during the 
following year seven general and six 
Quartermaster depots were completed. 
Several sites were occupied and used for 
open storage before construction work 
began. The location of general and 
Quartermaster depots and the amount 
of space in them assigned to OCQM in 
November 1943 and May 1944 are shown 
in Table 6. It should be noted that by 
the latter date initial issue to troops had 
materially reduced QM space require- 
ments. 

The first of six new depots, all con- 
structed on one standard design, was 
built at Wem, near Shrewsbury in west- 
ern England, by British contractors. 
Begun in December 1942, construction 
at Wem (G-16) was completed in the 
following June at a cost of $2,360,000. 
It contained 450,000 square feet of cov- 
ered storage, mostly in steel huts, 1,375,- 
000 square feet of hardstand, and bar- 
racks for 1,250 men.^^ Histon (G-23) 
and Lockerly Hall (G-55) were built on 
the Wem design entirely by Americans. 
U.S. troops also assisted in the construc- 



ts Cable 165, AGWAR to IJSAFBI, 31 Mar 42, sub: 
Engr Constr. USFET AG 400.242. 

'"During early 1942 SOS devised a block system 
for numbering QM depots (Q-ioo to Q— 199 for 
Classes I, II, and IV, and Q-300 to Q-399 for POL) 
and later general depots (G— 1 to G-99) in the 
United Kingdom. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



261 



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262 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 





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THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



26S 



tion of three more such depots. The 
building program was pushed through 
despite serious doubts about the future 
of Bolero and Roundup. The total 
cost was about fifty million dollars.-" 

By mid- 1943, the U.S. depot system 
covered most of the United Kingdom, 
with Quartermaster branch depots, fimc- 
tioning mainly for direct support of com- 
bat units, concentrated largely in areas 
where most U.S. troops were stationed. 
Geography itself imposed conditions on 
each base section which forced quarter- 
masters to develop certain specialties. 
In Northern Ireland they gained experi- 
ence in staging troops for shipment to 
other parts of the British Isles. At 
Western Base Section, which contained 
some of the finest ports on the Irish Sea 
and Bristol Channel, quartermasters de- 
veloped depot management as a special- 
ty.-^ Eastern Base Section, embracing 
relatively flat terrain adjacent to the con- 
tinent of Europe, contained most of the 
U.S. air bases. Quartermasters there 
worked very closely with the Quarter- 
master, Eighth Air Force, and specialized 
in techniques peculiar to the job of sup- 
porting the air arm.-- Knowledge and 
skill in assisting corps commands devel- 



-" (1) Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 247—48. 
(2) Fitial Report of the Chief Eyigineer, ETO, 
1942-45 (Paris: Herve et Fils, n.d.), vol I, pp. 244ff 
and app. 26. 

''^ Cols. Bernard E. McKeever (Bristol General 
Depot) and James E. Byrom (Burton-on-Trent 
General Depot) pioneered in this field and their 
standards were adopted widely. Ltr, Littlejohn to 
CofS SOS, 30 Jul 42. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. 
II, item 69. 

^ AAF combat units drew common-use items, 
notably food and clothing, direct from SOS depots, 
but VIII Air Force Service Command consolidated 
recjuisitions and prepared estimates of future re- 
quirements, and assisted the base commands by 
loans of work details and truck transportation. See 
Craven and Gate, eds., Europe TORCH to POINT- 
RLANK, ch. 18. 



oped among quartermasters in Southern 
Base Section, which accommodated large 
bodies of troops in training or in con- 
centration areas adjacent to English 
Channel ports. In all the coastal areas 
there ^vere Navy personnel who drew 
common items directly from U.S. Army 
depots. In all base sections, including 
the small one later established for great- 
er London, quartermaster activities be- 
came more and more decentralized, with 
operations patterned on OCQM proce- 
dures.-^ 

Reserves of Quartermaster supplies 
^^'ere maintained in the Quartermaster 
sections of general depots. It ^vas not 
necessary to activate as many QM branch 
depots as originally planned, since as a 
result of the energetic British building 
program of 1943 general depots were 
scattered almost as widely as the brancn 
depots. During 1943-44 the branch dc 
pots declined in size. Although some 
effort was made to avoid the dangerous 
areas on the south and east coasts, im- 
portant general depots were set up near 
Southampton and Plymouth in addi- 
tion to those at Liverpool, on the Bristol 
Channel, in London, and at inland 
points. 

A major consideration in locating de- 
pots, especially in the early days, was 
accessibility of civilian manpower. The 
four military depots surrendered by the 
British Army each had a standard com- 
plement of 690 civilians. Depots in port 
cities were soon employing twice that 
number, but the newly constructed in- 
stallations in rural areas had to rely on 
military personnel, plus a small number 
of laborers and clerks hired in the neigh- 
borhood. Because of transportation 

"'Min, OCQM Mtg of All Div Chiefs OCQM and 
Depot Comdrs and All QMSO's, 31 Jul 42. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. II, item 72. 



264 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




The "Wem Wrap" developed to protect supplies stored out of doors. 
1943. 



Wem Depot, July 



shortages, it was never possible to ar- 
range for large numbers of civilians to 
commute to these depots. By early 1944 
there was a labor shortage at all depots. 
About 2,000 Irish laborers were hired on 
90-day contracts, but housing them was a 
problem never satisfactorily solved, and 
plans to hire 3,000 more were stopped. 
Housing was available only in urban 
areas, where the need was least pressing. 
Because temporary housing was expen- 
sive, the Irish were paid more than pre- 
vailing British wages, which inevitably 



led to friction. At the insistence of the 
British authorities, English and Irish 
laborers were not employed at the same 
depots. By May 1944 OCQM had some 
8,000 British and 2,000 Irish employees, 
with no immediate prospect of obtaining 
more. Arrangements had been made 
with NATOUSA for 7,000 Italian ex- 
prisoners, organized into Italian service 
units, to be sent to the United King- 
dom, but they would not arrive until 
after D-day. Meanwhile, the entire 5th 
Armored Division and several smaller 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



265 



combat units were used temporarily as 
laborers. By September 1944, over 5,000 
Italians had arrived, and local civilians 
were again available in large numbers. 
On 11 September some 11,000 British 
civilians — laborers and clerks — were em- 
ployed, mostly in urban areas.^* 

Quartermaster storage functions were 
carried on in much the same way 
throughout the United Kingdom in both 
Quartermaster and general depots. 
Stocks of a single item were often spread 
through many depots rather than con- 
centrated at a minimum number of loca- 
tions, as efficiency and Quartermaster 
Corps doctrine directed. Each depot 
was assigned a retail "mission" of provid- 
ing for supply of troops stationed in its 
vicinity and for storage of calculated 
amounts of bulk stocks forming part of 
the theater reserve. The close super-, 
vision required to keep the system in 
balance was provided by the Office of 
the Chief Quartermaster. In the first 
rush to get stocks into storage, General 
Littlejohn had personally taken care of 
many details that later became responsi- 
bilities of the base section. The 
OCQM, although itself still in process of 
formation, took the initiative among the 
technical services in regard to storage of 
supplies, settled details of depot loca- 
tions with the British, moved officers and 
men to staff depots, and directed ship- 
ments from the ports. By early 1943 re- 
sponsibility for these functions had been 
definitely assigned. The Engineers co- 
ordinated acquisition of storage space, 
the base section commanders provided 
personnel and services, and the Trans- 



portation Service controlled all ship- 
ments. 

In the original SOS ETO organiza- 
tion, depot administration had been as- 
signed to a General Depot Service under 
SOS G-4. This arrangement paralleled 
the organization at SOS headquarters in 
Washington. The General Depot Serv- 
ice was abolished in the zone of interior 
in July 1942 and SOS ETO followed 
suit, leaving the function directly under 
G-4." It soon developed that G-4 was 
not equipped to deal with the details of 
depot operations. Accordingly, again 
paralleling the zone of interior, the func- 
tions of the General Depot Service in 
the ETO were transferred to the Chief 
Quartermaster.^® This gave the OCQM 
supervision of all general depots as well 
as Quartermaster branch depots. 

OCQM eventually assumed responsi- 
bility for supervising and staffing four 
types of depots: general depots with 
stores and provisions for two or more 
of the technical services, Quartermaster 
branch depots, salvage depots, and POL 
depots. The British controlled all 
depots and commercial establishments 
which contained cold storage space for 
perishable subsistence items. Because 
cold stores were largely located in port 
cities, such items as beef and butter were 
separated from nonperishable foods, 
which caused some difficulty in assem- 
bling a balanced menu.^^ 

The U.S. forces in the United King- 
dom drew their liquid fuels and lubri- 
cants direct from the British through a 



" (1) QM Supply in ETO, VIII, 55-58, and app. 
XXXVI. (2) DA Pamphlet No. 20-213, History 'of 
Prisoner of War Utilization by the U.S. Army, 
1776-1945 (June 1955), pp. 211-12. 



=^'SOS ETOUSA Cir 13, 19 Aug 42. 

^» (1) Memo, Asst CofS G-4 for CG SOS, 24 Sep 
42, no sub; Memo, DCQM for CG SOS through 
G-4, 30 Sep 42, no sub. Both in USFET AG 400.21. 
(2) SOS ETOUSA Cir 38, 27 Oct 42. (3) See ch. I, 
above. 

"" QM Supply in ETO, I 168-70. 



266 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 




Open Storage of Packaged Gasoline at Highbridge, England. March 1943. 



common pool arrangement. Conse- 
quently, the main purpose of Quarter- 
master POL depots was supply for cross- 
Channel operations, and many of them 
were activated late in 1943. Because of 
the fire hazard, POL depots were nor- 
mally kept separate from other depots 
and were dispersed over large areas — 
sometimes more than fifty acres. Only 
packaged POL was a QMC item; bulk 
POL was handled by the Transportation 
Corps or the Corps of Engineers. Thus 
a POL depot was primarily a place 
where filled 5-gallon cans were stacked 
in the open, usually camouflaged under 
trees. Each stack was normally on a 
"base," a hardstand of 56x56-foot dimen- 
sions. Each base held 340 long tons of 
gasoline, or about 19,000 cans. Bases 
were never less than 100 feet apart. 



Kerosene and diesel oil were also stored 
in such stacks. Greases and lubricants 
were packed in tin cans and were stored 
in corrugated steel huts, but the number 
of huts at a POL depot was always very 
small compared to the number of huts at 
other depots. Tentative sites for twenty- 
two POL depots were part of the first 
Bolero Key Plan, but only fourteen of 
these depots were activated. {Table 7) 
Most of them were located near the 
south coast of Britain, ten or fifteen 
miles inland from the embarkation ports 
assigned to the American troops. By 1 
October 1943 eight depots had been acti- 
vated, but since there were only three 
gasoline supply companies in the British 
Isles to man them, civilian labor was 
used as at other depots. Although the 
Engineers were confident that bulk gas- 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



267 



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268 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



oline would be available on the Conti- 
nent by D plus 30, the OCQM decided 
to accumulate a packaged reserve to sup- 
port the invasion through D plus 90, and 
the POL depot system was organized on 
that basis. The depots were filled to 
capacity by 30 April 1944, and enough 
gasoline supply companies had arrived 
by then so that one company could be 
assigned to each POL depot, in addition 
to those earmarked for First Army.-^ 

The Chief Quartermaster's technical 
supervision involved frequent inspec- 
tions of the general and Quartermaster 
branch depots to insure maximum effi- 
ciency through compliance with author- 
ized procedures. Methods of storage and 
stock control were under continuous 
scrutiny, and results of depot operations 
in terms of tons moved per man per 
month were carefully checked and com- 
pared. ^^ Full instructions from OCQM 
appeared in a depot operations manual 
that covered in detail warehousing 
operations, stock control procedures, and 
reports. The OCQM computed model 
stocks and storage space requirements on 
the basis of the depot mission and sent 
this data to the Quartermaster supply 
officer at each general and branch instal- 
lation.^'' But frequent changes in depot 
missions, and local conditions over which 
depot quartermasters had no control, 



°* (i) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 18. 
(2) Q_M Supply in ETO, IV. 13-15. 

»IRS, Depot Comdrs [SOS] to IG [SOS], 27 
Apr 43, with additional comments by IG and 
OCQM; Memo, CG G-25 for IG [SOS], 4 May 43. 
Both in USFET AG 333. 

^ (1) Memo, OCQM for QMSO Depot G-25, 12 
Feb 43, sub: Model Stock. USFET QM 400.164. 
(2) The depot operations manual was revised and 
published in several mimeographed and printed 
versions. Copies are in the Littlejohn Collection 
and in the Historical Branch, OQMG. 



often made compliance with these in- 
structions impossible. ^^ 

U.S. Quartermaster storage doctrine 
was based on larger, more concentrated 
facilities than were generally available in 
the United Kingdom. Efforts to increase 
efficiency by making the depots' arrange- 
ment conform more closely to U.S. 
standards led to almost constant rebuild- 
ing and expansion. The resultant shift- 
ing and rewarehousing of supplies made 
for even more intradepot movement than 
arose from actual receipt and issue of 
supplies. Since labor was scarce and, in 
most cases, extensive use of mechanical 
equipment was not feasible due to the 
layout and condition of floors, the nor- 
mal difficulties of achieving neat and ac- 
curate storage were multiplied. Despite 
continuous effort to make activities con- 
form to storage manual principles, oper- 
ations were often not completely satis- 
factory when measured by United States 
standards. ^- 

Many early difficulties of depot loca- 
tion and operation are illustrated in the 
experience of the depot at Liverpool, 
G-14. Planners had seen from the 
beginning that the Mersey River area, 
with Liverpool as its chief port, would 
be an important point of entry for U.S. 
supplies. Accordingly, in late July 1942 
American and British officers were sent 
there to establish a Quartermaster depot. 
Within a few days they had acquired 
their main facility, the Stanley Tobacco 
Warehouse, a large fourteen-story build- 
ing, with access by road, rail, and canal. 



^^Merno, Subs Off for CG QM Depot Q-101, 18 
Feb 43, sub: Model Stock. USFET QM 400.164. 

=2 Memo, OCQM for Hq SOS, 3 Jun 43, sub: 
Answers to Questions (From WD to CG SOS), sub: 
Opns in U.K. USFET AG 310.1. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



269 



Aside from the fact that the Mersey 
Docks and Harbour Board retained part 
of the warehouse for its own use,, there 
were other drawbacks. The building 
was situated in an area of heavy traffic; 
the fourteen stories and the basement 
were served by only four slow elevators; 
and windows were broken, lights were 
few, and there was no blackout equip- 
ment to permit night work. Despite 
these handicaps the depot started to 
function, using local civilian labor ex- 
clusively, when the first supplies arrived 
on 17 August. ^^ When formally estab- 
lished a few days later, it was set up as 
a general rather than a Quartermaster 
depot as had been originally planned. 
Eventually it contained medical, chemi- 
cal, engineer, post exchange, and adju- 
tant general supply sections, but QMC 
supplies were always the depot's main 
concern. 

Supplies immediately began to pour 
in. Within a few weeks the 900,000 
square feet of Stanley Warehouse were 
used up and expansion had begun. By 
the end of September the depot had 
acquired additional space in a railway 
warehouse, in railway sorting sheds, and 
in two private warehouses. In addition 
to this closed space the depot had an 
open storage area of approximately one 
million square feet. With the exception 
of Stanley Warehouse and the open area, 
operated by a combination of American 
military and local civilian personnel, 
these facilities were managed by British 
public or private organizations on a fee 



basis for freight handling and space 
rental.^* 

In the next year and a half, in the 
midst of constantly expanding opera- 
tions, the efficiency of the depot was 
gradually built up. British civilian labor 
and U.S. troops, working together, re- 
paired Stanley Warehouse and installed 
blackout fixtures. Offices and accom- 
modations for troops were provided by 
Quartermaster (Liaison). Methods of 
operation were standardized and per- 
fected by close supervision of the Com- 
mander, Western Base Section, and in- 
spections by OCQM. Even the handicap 
of multistoried buildings was partly 
overcome by the installation of chutes, 
hoists, and conveyors. By April 1944, 
just before the climactic preparations for 
the cross-Channel attack, the Liverpool 
depot had progressed to the point where 
1,500 military and civilian workers were 
handling every day 2,000 tons which ar- 
rived and left by rail, barge, and truck. 

In contrast, the development of Gen- 
eral Depot G-45 at Thatcham near Lon- 
don was typical for military depots trans- 
ferred to the United States Army by the 
British Army. It was a modern manu- 
facturing plant which had been requisi- 
tioned soon after completion in July 
1940. It contained 600,000 square feet of 
covered storage and was operated by 600 
civilians. In keeping with British dis- 
persal practice, the storage areas were 
scattered over 152 acres.^^ An American 
depot was officially activated there on 1 1 
July 1942. The transfer was gradual. 



^■"This account of the origins of G— 14 is drawn, 
except as indicated, from General Depot G-14, 
APO 507, A Short History From Activation to 1 
April 1944, 14 Apr 44. Hist Br OQMG. 



^ Memo, CO Gen Depot G-14 for CG SOS ETO- 
USA, 29 Sep 42, sub: Storage Facilities and Change 
in Address "Stanley Warehouse" to "General De- 
pot G-14." USFET AG 400.242. 

^This account is drawn from General History, 
G-45 r^^. February 1944]. Hist Br OQMG. 



270 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



proceeding by weekly increments until 
the U.S. Army took over the entire in- 
stallation and the military command in 
November. 

The transfer went off smoothly as far 
as Anglo-American relations were con- 
cerned, but not without some physical 
problems. The dispatch of British sup- 
plies and the influx of U.S. supplies 
taxed the transportation and handling 
capacity of the depot. At the same time 
a number of important changes were 
made in the plant: new open storage 
areas were prepared to receive supplies, 
new roads built, new railroad tracks in- 
stalled, and some of the warehouses re- 
constructed along lines more suitable to 
U.S. storage operations. U.S. Engineer 
troops constructed most of the hard- 
stands with mechanized equipment. 
British civilian workers renovated the 
buildings. In January 1943 the New- 
bury Race Course, a tract of 220 acres, 
six miles from the establishment, was 
added to the G-45 open storage area. 
The depot began to operate almost im- 
mediately. In September 1942 it sup- 
plied an average of 5,000 troops; the next 
month it supplied 23,000. Supply of 
North Africa, in which the depot was 
heavily engaged, caused considerable 
fluctuation in its activities. By the be- 
ginning of 1944, it was serving over 70,- 
000 troops and plans were under way to 
increase its mission to 100,000 troops. 

The Base Sections 

The base sections, territorial subdivi- 
sions of SOS, came into existence later 
than the depots. Their structure devel- 
oped more slowly, reflecting the evolu- 
tion of service commands in the United 
States. Northern Ireland Base Com- 



mand, a provisional headquarters organ- 
ized in February 1942, was not a territor- 
ial organization, despite its name, but a 
support echelon of V Corps. Lee for- 
mally activated four base sections on 20 
July 1942 but Northern Ireland Base 
Section retained its subordinate role 
with respect to V Corps, and was inacti- 
vated when that headquarters moved to 
England in December. (See Map 1.) The 
other three base sections, beginning with 
considerable autonomy, developed the 
concept of "host" organizations to whom 
combat units were "guests." ^® By July 
1943 an informal booklet published by 
OCQM for supply officers of newly ar- 
rived units declared that: "A base sec- 
tion corresponds basically to a service 
command in the United States." ^^ 

Since the technical services had cre- 
ated and staffed the depots and had dic- 
tated their methods and standards of op- 
eration for several months, they put up 
considerable resistance to the establish- 
ment of a new chain of command. The 
technical services tended to retain con- 
trol over not only purely technical mat- 
ters, but everything pertaining to more 
than one base section, especially opera- 
tional control of transportation units. 
Technical service representatives on 
each base section headquarters staff were 
capable of performing many of these 



^^ Eastern, Western, and Southern Base Sections 
remained in continuous existence until after D- 
day. London Base Command became Central Base 
Section in April 1943. Northern Ireland Base Sec- 
tion was reactivated in October 1943. Thus at 
various times there were three, four, or five base 
sections. 

"^ Headquarters, SOS ETOUSA, OCQM, A Guide 
to Functions Performed by the Quartermaster 
Service in the European Theater of Operations (1 
July 1943). Hist Br OQMG. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



271 



functions, and in some cases did so, but 
under technical service direction. As 
the base section organization was built 
up in the fall of 1942, the base section 
commanders tended to expand their jur- 
isdiction to all SOS installations in their 
territories. Lee gave them considerable 
support, and gradually reduced the num- 
ber of "exempt" installations and activi- 
ties.^^ Their staffs matured and assumed 
increasing responsibilities. For exam- 
ple, once the location and size of new 
depots had been agreed upon, the Engi- 
neer Sections of the base section staffs 
took over direction of American con- 
struction activity, co-ordinating details of 
the work with local representatives of 
British agencies and initiating requisi- 
tions for building materials from the 
United States if necessary, or from such 
local military agencies as the Directorate 
of Fortifications and Works. Instruc- 
tions to unit supply officers in July 1943 
stated that "Each base section has a suit- 
able quartermaster staff located at the 
base section headquarters. The base sec- 
tion quartermaster and his staff are 
equipped to provide a solution to most 
of the local quartermaster supply prob- 
lems." 39 

Littlejohn's dual position as Chief, 
Quartermaster Service, and Chief, Gen- 
eral Depot Service, gave him great influ- 
ence with the base section commanders. 
This was reinforced by his temporary 
position as Deputy Commander, SOS, in 
November and December 1942, and by 
his seniority and informal position of 
leadership among the technical service 
chiefs. But his personal position con- 



fused rather than clarified the demarca- 
tion of authority between base section 
commanders and chiefs of technical serv- 
ices in their relations with depot com- 
manders and supply units. In all disci- 
plinary and administrative matters, in- 
cluding personnel assignments, SOS 
headquarters assigned increasing author- 
ity to the base section commanders, fi- 
nally abolishing all "exempt" activities 
in August 1943.**' Base Section com- 
manders thus won jurisdiction in Aug- 
ust 1943 over all general depots, except 
for certain matters involving internal 
management and technical operations. 
Such matters could be handled best by 
direct communication between depots 
and the technical service staffs at SOS 
headquarters.*^ 

The increasing responsibility for 
housekeeping and general administra- 
tion which the base sections took over 
from the depots was delegated to dis- 
tricts. Southern, Western, and Northern 
Ireland Base Sections were each sub- 
divided into four districts. But Eastern 
Base Section, which delegated many 
functions to VIII Air Force Service 
Command, and Central Base Section, a 
small unit which supervised supply 
administration in greater London, were 
not so subdivided. The districts became 
of major importance just before D-day, 
when they assumed command of service 
units at the embarkation points to pro- 



^ Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, 168-70. 
*• Booklet cited n. 37. 



"SOS ETOUSA Cir 49, 24 Aug 43. This circu- 
lar charged base section commanders with "all SOS 
operations." 

" (1) Memo, OCQM for G-4 [SOS ETO], 14 
Oct 42, sub: Asgmt and Reasgmt of Labor Pers for 
Depots. USFET QM 370.5. (2) QM History of 
ETO, May 1941-June 1944. USFET AG 568A. (3) 
Memo, SOS ETO for CG WBS, 29 Sep 43, sub: 
Admin of Depots. USFET AG 400.21. 



272 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



vide last-minute support and services to 
the departing combat troops.*- 

Automatic Supply and Requisitions 

The aim of supply planning in an 
overseas headquarters is to maintain all 
stocks within the minimum and maxi- 
mum supply levels prescribed by higher 
authority. During World War II this 
objective, so easily defined, was sur- 
rounded by pitfalls and proved very dif- 
ficult to attain. A major element in the 
problem was the "lead time" of 90 to 120 
days between preparation of a requisi- 
tion and arrival of the requested items. 
After some experiment it became nor- 
mal procedure in the ETO to submit 
requisitions to cover requirements for a 
30-day period, but that period would 
begin 90 days or more in the future. 
Requisitions therefore had to take into 
account anticipated consumption and 
anticipated arrivals of supplies in the 
interim period. An even more uncer- 
tain element was the anticipated troop 
strength of the theater at the time the 
supplies were to arrive. Enemy action, 
especially submarine and air attacks 
against shipping, provided another factor 
of uncertainty. This is by no means a 
complete catalogue of all the variables 
involved and the inevitable result was 
that ETO supplies were always some- 
what out of balance. Stocks of some 
items were too large, and of others too 
small, and slow corrective action could 
not overtake the new complications that 
constantly emerged. 

The source of supplies for the ETO, 
as well as for predecessor commands dur- 
ing World War II, was the New York 



Port of Embarkation.*^ After 6 June 
1942, NYPE was also the agency control- 
ling priorities, size of shipments, and 
theater levels of supply. The necessary 
authority, previously exercised by the 
War Department, had been delegated to 
NYPE as part of a general process of 
decentralization. Control was exercised 
by "editing" theater requisitions — that 
is, by careful checking to ensure that 
they contained no technical errors, were 
in accord with War Department policy 
directives, and took into account the 
most recent revisions of strategic plans 
and the troop basis. NYPE exercised 
considerable autonomy in modifying 
regulations to meet current problems. 
For example, minimum theater supply 
levels were the basis of strategic plan- 
ning, and were only changed with the 
approval of the War Department, but 
maximum levels were modified to con- 
form to the current shipping situation, 
or to meet special theater needs. 

During the gradual preparation of a 
forward base for a continental operation, 
economy of supply and shipping indi- 
cated a low supply level as desirable, 
while to make possible efficient service 
to the troops, orderly procedure, and 
American self-sufficiency in a British 
theater, a high level was called for. 
General Littlejohn, as the man who 
would have to cope with local problems 
and keep the troops supplied, favored 
the higher levels. This meant that each 
of his many small depots would have an 
ample reserve, even if his inexperienced 
and overworked depot personnel made 



Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, I, ch. IX. 



" Functions and organization of ports of em- 
barkation are discussed in detail in Chester Ward- 
low, The Transportation Corps: Movements, Train- 
ing, and Supply, UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
W^ORLD WAR II (Washington, 1956), pp. 99-105 
and 341-57. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



273 



occasional mistakes in inventory account- 
ing. Crosshauls between depots to cor- 
rect local shortages would be minimized, 
and the theater itself would have a 
reserve to offset losses in transit or to 
meet unexpected demands. To him, 
these advantages outweighed the fact that 
ultimately all supplies not locally con- 
sumed would have to be hauled to ports 
and transshipped to a combat zone 
across the Channel.** 

The War Department had established 
a 6o-day level for all supplies in the 
United Kingdom in January 1942, as 
already described. This was a mini- 
mum level and no maximum was set at 
that time. In July the minimum was 
increased to 75 days, and in August a 
maximum level of 180 days was author- 
ized. Torch requirements were given 
priority over Bolero during the follow- 
ing month, and in November the War 
Department reduced the ETO maxi- 
mum supply level to 75 days for sub- 



sistence, 90 days for clothing, and 60 
days for other supplies. It should be 
borne in mind that the only place where 
such a directive had an immediate effect 
was in the Overseas Supply Division of 
NYPE, where it was used in editing 
requisitions. It did not affect supplies 
already in the pipeline. In the ETO, 
General Lee reacted to the November 
directive by announcing that an addi- 
tional 45-day combat maintenance factor 
would be added. This, he felt, was 
needed to maintain the established levels 
in the United Kingdom and at the same 
time support the North African opera- 
tion *^ 

During the next three months troop 
departures more than offset the decrease 
in cargo arrivals so that the theater 
supply levels rose sharply. At the end 
of February, the month in which ETO- 
USA and NATOUSA became separate 
theaters. Quartermaster supply levels in 
the United Kingdom were as follows: 



Days of Supply for 125,000 Men 



Class I 

A Ration 75 

B Ration (balanced) 34 

B Ration (unbalanced) 132 

C Ration 7.7 

D Ration 4.6 

K Ration 9.4 

5-in-l Ration 

Class II 

Clothing 249 

Equipage 206 

Regular Supplies 1 88 

Class III 

POL 

Coal 

Coke 

Army Sales Store Supplies 



60 
105 

77 
90 



Remarks 
Surplus of perishable components of the A ration: 

Beef 7,838,075 pounds 

Pork 1 ,003,775 pounds 

Butter 628,750 pounds 



Clothing tariffs are somewhat unbalanced. 
Certain deficiencies as well as excesses in equipage. 



POL assured from British sources; also 22 days 
packaged oils and greases in U.K. depots for 
Torch. 



Source: Hq, SOS ETOUSA, G-4 Special Monthly Rpt. QM Sv as of 28 Feb 43. USFET AG 319.1. 



"Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, Operational 
Study 3. 

*= (1) See above, ch. II. (2) Cable SPAOG-600, 
AGWAR to USFOR, 22 Aug 42; Ltr, CG ETOUSA 



to Chiefs Tech Svs .... 8 Nov 42, sub: Levels of 
Supply; Cable R-3404, AGWAR to ETOUSA, 22 
Nov 42. All in USFET AG 400.32. 



274 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



But these high levels could be re- 
garded as transitory, arising from a tem- 
porary manpower shortage, or even as 
illusory, since the supplies included items 
unwanted or actually discarded by the 
troops who had departed for North 
Africa. Both the War Department and 
SOS ETOUSA headquarters were pre- 
occupied with long-range plans, and 
especially with projected minimum 
levels. In April 1943 General Marshall 
suggested a 45-day minimum level for all 
classes of supply, pointing out that ship- 
ping was critically short and other thea- 
ters were also reducing their levels. 
Littlejohn declared that a 45-day level 
was entirely inadequate, and recom- 
mended that the current levels be main- 
tained. Nevertheless, in June the War 
Department reduced the levels for food 
and clothing to 60 days, and for all other 
classes to 45 days. In November 1943 
the War Department again suggested 
reducing all minimum levels to 45 days. 
Littlejohn agreed to accept that figure 
for rations but insisted that the level for 
clothing remain unchanged.**' 

Throughout 1943 the operating level 
for all classes of supply remained fixed 
at 30 days, reflecting the standard pro- 
cedure of requisitioning once a month 
to replace 30 days of consumption. 
Thus the maximum level was 30 days 
more than the minimum level. In the 
theater, the War Department's concept 
of minimum, operating, and maximum 
levels was largely ignored. Stocks were 
not segregated on that basis and requisi- 
tions were computed to bring stocks up 
to the maximum level on the estimated 
date of arrival. Early in 1944 the War 

*" Cable R-7894, AGWAR to ETOUSA, 28 Apr 
43; Cable R-9743, AGWAR to ETOUSA, 20 Jun 
43; Cable W-7545, ETOUSA to AGWAR, 22 Nov 
43. All in USFET AG 400.32. 



Department adopted the theater's meth- 
od of computation, agreeing that there- 
after authorizations would refer only to 
maximum levels. On 20 January maxi- 
mum levels for the ETO were reduced 
to 60 days for Class I and Class III, and 
75 days for Class II and Class IV.*^ 

As troops began to arrive in the 
United Kingdom in the early spring of 
1942, automatic issue of Class I and III 
supplies from NYPE went into effect, as 
provided by Quartermaster doctrine and 
current regulations.** Quantities of 
food and fuel to be shipped were calcu- 
lated by multiplying the troop strength, 
a figure obtained from sources in Wash- 
ington, by the authorized days of supply. 
Automatic supply was thus based on the 
belief that consumption of Class I and 
III supplies was not significantly affected 
by local or temporary conditions, and 
could be accurately predicted by the 
shipper. 

As early as mid- 1941 the SPOBS quart- 
ermaster had made arrangements for lo- 
cal procurement of fuels and lubricants, 
but NYPE, a new organization groping 
its way toward efficient procedures, was 
apparently unaware of this. The port 
authorities shipped considerable quanti- 
ties of Class III items in the first half of 
1942 before they were informed that 
such supplies were not required.*'' 

In the case of food (Class I) , auto- 
matic supplies became unbalanced at the 
very beginning. The 90-day reserve of 
subsistence which was to accompany or 
closely follow the first U.S. troops to the 



*" (i) History of Planning Division, ASF, II, 203. 
(2) QM Supply in ETO, I, 44. 

«Ltr, TAG to CG's . . . Base Comds, 28 Apr 42, 
sub: Supply of Overseas Depots, Theaters. USFET 
AG 400. 

*^ Memo, Middleswart for G— 4, 29 Jun 42, no 
sub. USFET AG 400. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



275 



United Kingdom did not arrive on 
schedule and the troops had to be fed by 
the British Army. By the time Ameri- 
can rations had begim to arrive in quan- 
tity, arrangements with the British Min- 
istry of Food were in effect whereby the 
U.S. forces would receive many food 
items over an extended period. Since 
NYPE shipped Class I supplies on the 
basis of a ration established by the Of- 
fice of The Quartermaster General, lo- 
cal ETO food procurement obliged 
NYPE to adjust shipments to avoid du- 
plication. Such adjustments could only 
be made on the basis of ETO local pro- 
curement reports, which came to be al- 
most equivalent to "stop orders" cancel- 
ing shipments of various items. 

Preparations for the North African in- 
vasion further disrupted the automatic 
system. Food supplies for troops sailing 
from the United Kingdom were with- 
drawn from local stocks in accordance 
with combat requirements rather than 
in the same proportions called for by the 
menu used in assembling shipments 
from the United States. Some stocks, es- 
pecially of operational rations, were re- 
duced to very low levels, while others 
mounted rapidly because of imdercon- 
sumption. Stocks were further unbal- 
anced by nondelivery of requested quan- 
tities, by sinkings and damage en route, 
by local distribution difficulties within 
the theater, and by substitutions at the 
port for items unobtainable at the time 
of shipment. The cumulative effect of 
all these various factors upon what was 
supposed to be a simple system led to a 
suspension of the automatic supply of 
rations in October 1942.^° Extensive 



requisitions then had to be submitted to 
bring food stocks into the balance called 
for by the planning menu.^^ 

Discontinuance of automatic ship- 
ments put all ETO quartermaster sup- 
plies on a requisition basis. Supply by 
requisition was in theory a simple pro- 
cedure. Using authorized theater levels 
as the limit of what might be requisi- 
tioned and subtracting stocks that were 
on hand and on the way, each technical 
service submitted requisitions at regular 
intervals — usually one month — through 
G-4, SOS, to NYPE for the specific items 
and quantities needed to replace current 
consumption and maintain the author- 
ized reserves. The port received the 
requisitions, edited them for possible 
mistakes in computation, called forward 
the supplies from designated depots, and 
shipped them in time to meet current 
requirements. When the theater requi- 
sitioned items that were not available to 
the port from its own supporting depots, 
the port called on the appropriate tech- 
nical service to arrange for supply from 
another depot, or by special procurement 
if necessary. If there was a prospect of 
delay and a substitute item was available, 
the port made a substitution on its own 
authority. When requisitioned items 
were unauthorized for the theater or 
exceeded the authorized allowance, the 
port referred the matter to the War 
Department for decision. Certain criti- 
cal items were controlled by the War 
Department and released for shipment 
only on specific authorization. 



™ Cable SA-1531, Lee to PEMBARK, 13. Oct 42. 
USFET AG 319.1. 



" (1) Memo, OCQM for Actg CofS SOS, 5 Nov 
42, sub: Levels of Class I Supplies by Groups. 
USFET QM 430. (2) See OTCQM TSFET Opera- 
tional Study 9, page 2, for a postwar reaffirmation 
of the disadvantages of automatic supply. 



276 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



In practice this procedure proved to 
be full of complexities, which the 
OCQM had anticipated and attempted 
to overcome. Briefly stated, the simple 
mathematical computations of the requi- 
sition were based on statistics, which in 
turn were derived from a wide variety 
of sources of varying reliability, and 
were subject to varying interpretations. 
Troop strength, for example, a basic 
figure for translating levels of supply 
into specific quantities, was interpreted 
in the theater to mean the troop strength 
expected to be present during the period 
covered by the requisition, which was 
usually several months in the future. 
The War Department objected that this 
interpretation led to duplication of sup- 
ply, since supplies for 90 days' mainte- 
nance were supposedly shipped with or 
immediately following each troop unit 
sent overseas. ^- 

Many conditions contributed to mu- 
tual lack of understanding in this early 
period. Cables were overloaded and air- 
mail was slow and uncertain. Cargoes 
were delayed or lost at sea, and when 
they did arrive there was nothing to in- 
dicate whether they were in response to 
requisitions, automatic supply, specific 
maintenance for new units, or preship- 
ments. But uncertainty was not confined 
to the theater. NYPE sometimes found 
ETO reports of local procurement pos- 
sibilities overoptimistic. Even formal 
contracts were not always fulfilled, and 
there was the constant possibility that 
agreements with the various British sup- 
ply ministries might be repudiated by 
either government. 



When a major change in plans oc- 
curred, the forecast of troop strength 
temporarily became very uncertain. 
During the shift to the Torch opera- 
tion, for example, the future of the 
forces in the United Kingdom was so 
uncertain as to cause a cancellation of 
all outstanding requisitions.^^ When the 
theater was using a troop strength figure, 
either current or projected, which dif- 
fered significantly from that used by 
NYPE or by other zone of interior agen- 
cies, the editing of requisitions was 
fraught with numerous delays. This 
problem was not resolved until July 
1944, when the War Department began 
to issue a Troop List for Operations and 
Supply (TLOS).^* 

The rate at which Class II and IV 
supplies had to be replaced — the "re- 
placement factor" — was another trouble- 
some matter. Some of the confusion in 
the early days of the build-up was caused 
by the incomplete equipment of incom- 
ing troops. ^^ In theory all soldiers were 
to arrive fully equipped according to the 
appropriate Tables of Basic Allowances, 
with the theater replacing articles only 
as they were worn out, used up, or 
destroyed. In reality the theater fre- 
quently had to make initial issues of 
items that incoming troops were short of. 
If these initial issues were simply counted 
with other supplies turned over to 



^2 Memo [W35-1-42], TAG for CG's . . . Over- 
seas Bases . . . , 21 Aug 43, sub: Elimination of 
Requisitions for Excessive Supplies. USFET AG 
3>9«- 



^^Memo, Asst CofS G-4 for CG SOS ETO, 17 
Sep 42, sub: Status of Supply Technique and Its 
Effect on This Theater. USFET AG 400, vol. I. 

^ The TLOS is discussed in detail in Chapter 
XII, below. 

^' (1) Memo, CQM to ACofS G-4 SOS ETO, 14 
Jun 42, sub: Clothing Enlisted Men. USFET QM 
421. (2) War Department Circular 297, 13 Novem- 
ber 1943, directed that the term "replacement fac- 
tor" be used to describe replacement of materiel; 
thereafter "maintenance" would refer to upkeep. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



277 



troops, the figures for replacements 
would be inflated to that extent. For 
planning purposes at the War Depart- 
ment level it was therefore most essen- 
tial to distinguish between initial issue, 
which would not recur, and replacement, 
which would be repeated at foreseeable 
intervals. The overseas depots found it 
extremely hard to make this distinction. 

Regular requisitions were supposed to 
cover replacement issues only, with spe- 
cial reqtiisitions to cover initial issue. 
Since the latter issues nearly always con- 
sisted of unforeseen expenditures, they 
had to be drawn from theater stocks and 
replaced later. But enough experienced 
personnel, trained to interpret Tables of 
Basic Allowances, were not available in 
the theater at that time. Depots thus 
could not cope adequately with the com- 
plex problem of distinguishing between 
initial and replacement issues. More- 
over, tables showing authorized equip- 
ment of units were not always on hand, 
and up-to-date changes in such tables 
were almost invariably lacking. Under 
such conditions, far beyond staffs control, 
the acctiracy of replacement statistics was 
highly questionable. To the theater, 
interested chiefly in having supplies on 
hand when needed, the difference be- 
tween the two types of issues was in any 
event secondary. To zone of interior 
agencies, concerned with long-range fore- 
casting of requirements, the distinction 
was of primary importance. 

The question was further complicated 
by misimderstandings with respect to 
details of allowances. The OCQM, SOS 
ETOUSA, NYPE, The Quartermaster 
General, and the Commanding General, 
ASF, were all involved in determining 
allowances of clothing and equipment. 
At times tactical commanders, AGE 



boards, and other technical services were 
also involved. Agreements affecting 
these allowances were sometimes reached 
between certain agencies without proper 
notification to the others. Resolution of 
the ensuing confusion occasionally de- 
manded weeks of correspondence and 
consultation. Efforts were made to fix 
allowances on a firm basis and to main- 
tain the required distinctions in statisti- 
cal reports, but the problem was never 
entirely solved.^'' 

Another basic factor in calculating 
quantities needed to maintain stocks for 
reserve and current use was the inven- 
tory on hand and expected. This had to 
be noted on the requisition itself. For 
stocks on hand, the theater was the 
source of information, but NYPE also 
calculated overseas stocks on the basis of 
the shipments it had made, less presumed 
consumption. When there was a wide 
discrepancy, an adjustment had to be 
made before the port wotild honor the 
requisition." For the calculation of 
stocks expected in the theater, the theater 
was ultimately dependent on the port. 
In the early days of the ETO, informa- 
tion on supplies in transit was late and 
fragmentary. The outstanding requisi- 
tions canceled in August 1942 during the 
build-up for Torch could not be im- 
mediately reinstated when the interim 
troop basis for Bolero was clarified be- 
cause three weeks after the cancellation 
order the ETO still did not know what 



=" (1) Ltr, NYPE Overseas Supply Div to CG 
SOS ETO, 19 Dec 42, sub: Editing Procedure for 
Requisitions From U.K. 430.2 ETO. (2) SOS ETO- 
USA, Notes on Staff Conf, 8 Mar 43, 14 Jun 43, 
remarks by Gen Littlejohn. USFET AG 337. (3) 
Memo, OQMG for CQM ETO, 26 Jul 43, sub: 
Maint Factors and Supply Levels. 400 ETO. 

^^Ltr cited n. 56 (1). 



278 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



supplies had been shipped before the 
cut-off date.'^^ 

Even minor technical details caused 
difficulties in processing requisitions. 
Apparently erroneous theater calcula- 
tions could not always be easily rectified, 
for the receiving office in the zone of in- 
terior did not know enough about thea- 
ter conditions to risk a correction with- 
out time-consuming correspondence.^^ 
Attempting to avoid the delays involved 
in dealing with the New York Port of 
Embarkation, the OCQM sometimes 
dealt directly with the Office of The 
Quartermaster General and the Army 
Service Forces. But direct negotiation 
with agencies to the rear of the port of- 
ten caused more rather than less delay. 
NYPE was not hostile to OCQM, though 
at a distance of more than 3,000 miles 
this sometimes seemed the case, and the 
port's intimate kno^vledge of theater re- 
quirements usually led to speedier action 
than the special pleading of Quarter- 
master officers in Washington.*'*' 

How to deal with the flow of initial 
equipment for units arriving in the the- 
ater was another perplexing matter. At 
first, units and groups of units, tempo- 
rarily designated task forces, arrived with 
cargo specifically marked for each of 
them. This cargo consisted of their or- 
ganizational equipment and a 90-day al- 
lowance of maintenance supplies. As 



^Memo, ACofS G-4 for CG SOS ETO, 17 Sep 
42, sub: Status of Supply Technique and Its Effect 
on This Theater. USFET AG 400, vol. I. 

^^ (i) Memo, DCQM for Chief P8cT Div, 24 Jan 
44, sub: Requisitioning Procedure. USFET QM 
400.311. (2) SOS ETOUSA Notes on Staff Conf, 
7 Jun 43, remarks by Gen Styer. USFET AG 337. 

»»SOS ETOUSA, Notes on Staff Conf, 14 Jun 43, 
remarks by Brig. Gen. Calvin DeWitt. USFET AG 
337. For later developments in OCQM-NYPE rela- 
tionships, see below. Chapter XII. 



early as June 1942 the OCQM requested 
that the maintenance supplies not be 
"force marked," that is, assigned to a 
specific unit, but instead be included in 
ordinary depot stocks for maintenance 
issue. This procedure made sorting and 
control of supplies so much easier that it 
was applied by most supply services in 
the ETO even before the War Depart- 
ment approved it.**^ 

But when the War Department sug- 
gested applying the bulk system to or- 
ganizational equipment as well as to 
maintenance supplies, Littlejohn strenu- 
ously objected. *'2 Such equipment could 
be shipped in sets for type units or in 
bulk. The chief argument advanced 
against the first alternative was that units 
arriving without equipment would be 
unable to carry out operations pending 
their "marrying up" with their equip- 
ment. A similar argument applied to 
the bulk system, with the additional ob- 
jection that the ETO depot system did 
not have enough qualified people to deal 
properly with the enormous quantities 
and manifold problems involved. In 
December OCQM was still opposed to 
bulk shipments. As an alternative to 
force marking of organizational equip- 
ment. Colonel Sharp of the Depot 
Branch proposed combat loading of 
units, that is, putting the unit and all its 
equipment on the same ship, so stowed 
that both troops and equipment could 
be simultaneously unloaded ready for 
immediate operations. This method, 
used by Patton's Western Task Force in 



•"Memo, OCQM for CG SOS ETO, i6 Jun 42, 
sub: Disposition of QM Supplies Allocated to Task 
Forces. USFET QM 475. 

•^Memo, CQM for ACofS G-4 SOS, 12 Jun 42, 
no sub; Memo, DCQM for CQM, 5 Jul 42, no sub. 
Both in USFET QM 475. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



279 



Morocco, was considered too wasteful of 
space to be justified in a theater where 
there were no combat operations."^ 

Force marking of organizational 
equipment was meanwhile continued, 
but within a month the theater reversed 
its earlier opposition/'* In January 1943 
it formally recommended a change to 
bulk shipment. The reason was that 80 
to 120 days and sometimes more elapsed 
between the arrival of troops and that of 
their force-marked equipment. Force 
marking of equipment had proved a hin- 
drance rather than a help. A lag in ship- 
ments from the zone of interior could 
be overcome by maintaining an emer- 
gency reserve of complete sets of equip- 
ment for type combat units. It should 
be remembered that the ETO was now 
a quiet theater, with a surplus of service 
troops. SOS felt that these troops had 
received the training to effect initial is- 
sues to troop units, although OCQM was 
dubious. 

In early 1943 the War Department 
hesitated to approve the bulk system 
it had advocated in 1942. Organiza- 
tional equipment was no longer availa- 
ble in zone of interior stocks or from 
current production in sufficient quanti- 
ties to allow for both the equipment of 
units training in the United States and 
the movement of large stocks to the 



•" Memo, SOS ETO for Chief Supply Svs, i Dec 
42, sub: Issue of Organizational Equip in This 
Theater; Memo, OCQM for Supply Div Stock Con- 
trol, 4 Dec 42, same sub; Memo, DQM for G-4, 
8 Dec 42, same sub. All in USFET QM 400.34. 

'*'This and the following paragraphs pertaining 
to T/B.\ equipment for units debarking in the 
United Kingdom are based largely on a resume of 
cables quoted in SOS ETO Tentative Over-all Plan 
for Supply and Administration, 20 June 1943 (here- 
after cited as SOS ETO Plan), Section 7C. USFET 
AG 981. 



theater much in advance of the troops. 
In addition, bulk shipments would have 
to be made on uncertain long-range 
forecasts of troop movements. If the 
plans changed significantly after equip- 
ment had been shipped, equipment al- 
ready on its way to or in the ETO might 
have to be duplicated in other theaters. 
The adjustments required to implement 
Torch served as an object lesson. The 
War Department therefore continued to 
force mark shipments. 

Its position was modified by an impor- 
tant change in the shipping situation in 
the late spring of 1943. The successful 
conclusion of the North African cam- 
paign and naval successes against U-boats 
in the Atlantic permitted renewal of the 
build-up in the United Kingdom for 
cross-Channel operations. However, the 
schedule of troop availability was such 
that troop movements would be light 
until the last quarter of the year. This 
created an "excess" of cargo capacity 
during the summer and afforded an op- 
portunity to ship in advance of need 
both maintenance supplies and organi- 
zational equipment for troops who 
would be arriving later.*^^ On 19 May, 
therefore, the theater was notified that 
bulk shipment of organizational equip- 
ment would be instituted for units sail- 
ing after 1 July 1943.*^'' 

As the OCQM had foreseen in the 
preceding year, the handling of bulk 
shipments presented some troublesome 
problems. Issue of organizational 
equipment to units was handicapped by 



•^' Cable R-7742, WAR to USSOS [Andrews for 
Lee from Somervell], 21 Apr 43, SOS ETO Plan, 
bk. I, sec. lA. USFET AG 381. 

""Cable R-8592, WAR to USSOS [Devers for 
Lee from Somervell], 21 Apr 43, SOS ETO Plan, 
bk. L sec. iD. USFET AG 381. 



280 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



lack of proper information on Tables 
of Equipment.^^ There were only vague 
distinctions between initial issue and re- 
placement supplies, with resulting un- 
certainty as to the actual quantities of 
bulk-shipped organizational equipment 
that had been received and issued. This 
in turn made for uncertainty in calcu- 
lating replacement items on hand.®* 
Supplies, moreover, did not arrive in 
accordance with requirements. U.S. in- 
dustry, already working at full capacity, 
could not produce the necessary quanti- 
ties of additional materiel on such short 
notice. These delays were particularly 
critical for units activated in the theater, 
which were sometimes overlooked in 
the preparation of planning lists by the 
War Department. The result was a 
severe drain on theater stocks.®^ But 
despite the handicaps, the bulk ship- 
ment system did work; tonnages dis- 
charged rose from 348,900 in June 1943 
to 1,008,150 in December. The troop 
build-up passed the 1,000,000-mark in 
January 1944, and by May, as noted 
earlier, initial issues to troops had re- 
duced QM stocks in the depots very 
noticeably. (See Table 6.) When the 
war was over, the ASF Planning Divi- 
sion considered that this procedure had 
been an important factor in making pos- 
sible the timely equipment of the ETO 
fighting forces.^" The Transportation 



"Memo, OCQM for QM SBS, 10 Aug 43. sub: 
Initial Issue of T/BA Equip. USFET QM 400.34. 

«* Memo, Chief Supply Div OCQM for Chief P&T 
Div, 29 Dec 43, sub: Calculation of Status of Initial 
T/E Equip, and reply, 10 Jan 44. USFET QM 
400.34. 

"ETO G-4 Periodic Rpt, quarter ending 31 Mar 
44. EUCOM 319.1. 

™ (1) History of Planning Division, ASF, I, 98; 
(2) Logistical Build-up in the British Isles, USFET 
Gen Bd Rpt 128, p. 22. 



Corps agreed that bulk shipments were 
desirable, but criticized inadequate co- 
ordination of arms production, troop 
training, and transportation programs. 
Because of various shortages and delays 
less than 50 percent of the 1943 shipping 
space earmarked for preshipments was 
actually utilized, and the inevitable re- 
sult was a severe congestion of U.K. 
ports in the spring of 1944. Outloading 
for Overlord therefore proceeded under 
serious handicaps, and, of necessity, the 
Overlord supply arrangements included 
a wasteful use of shipping as floating 
warehouses.^^ 

Transportation and Storage 

Difficulties involved in moving sup- 
plies into United Kingdom ports, 
whether by automatic shipment or on 
requisition, were aggravated by wartime 
congestion of transportation facilities in 
the United Kingdom which put a high 
premium on maximum efficiency in han- 
dling stocks. The greatest care had to be 
exercised to avoid unessential transpor- 
tation of goods by rail, road, or canal. ^^ 
Ideally, all movements of supplies would 
have begun with the arrival of cargo on 
ships directed to the most logical port 
for the discharge of the particular sup- 
plies they carried. Cargo so landed 
could have been loaded directly into 
freight cars, trucks, or barges and sent 
immediately to the depot of ultimate 
destination. Unfortunately, lack of ad- 



" Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation 
Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 106-08. 

■" (1) Memo, USAFBl for CG USANIF, 13 Mar 
42, sub: Conservation of Shipping. USFET AG 430. 
(2) Memo, CQM ETO for CofT ETO, 26 Jul 42, 
no sub. USFET QM 400.2. (3) 1st Ind, QMSO 
G-40 to CQM ETO, 16 Feb 43. USFET QM 400.21. 
G-40. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



281 



vance information and improper mark- 
ing and packing of goods often pre- 
cluded this ideal procedure. 

In order to give the Transportation 
Service timely advice on where to send 
its cargo, OCQM needed detailed ad- 
vance information on the arrival date 
and the cargo of each ship carrying 
Quartermaster supplies. This informa- 
tion was supplied by NYPE, and sup- 
posedly reached OCQM by air courier 
some five days before the ship was to 
dock, in the form of the ship's manifest. 
But manifests often arrived too late to 
be of any value in planning and some- 
times were not received at all.^^ When 
they did arrive, all too often the mani- 
fests were useless because they lumped 
many supply items together imder 
one heading for the sake of brevity. 
One manifest, quoted by the OCQM, 
simply listed "1,298 cases Clothing, 
Meat, Vegetables 102,540 lbs." ^* More 
common listings were "2,000 pieces 
Subsistence" and "3,000 pieces Toma- 
toes, Peas, Corn, etc." ^^ 

When the information supplied by 
the manifests was too late or too vague, 
the cargo on the ship or on the dock had 
to be inspected by port authorities. This 
procedure was hampered by inadequate 
marking and packing. Littlejohn sent 
personal representatives to meet undocu- 
mented shipments whenever possible, 
but even they had difficulty in identify- 
ing supplies. It was sometimes neces- 



" Chart, Time of Receipt of Manifests . . . , data 
covering 1-31 Jan 43, from SOS ETO Plan, bk. II, 
sec. 5F. USFET AG 381. 

'* Memo, CQM for Chief Transportation Svs SOS, 
5 Aug 42, sub: Info Pertaining to Supplies Arriv- 
ing in Ports of Debarkation. USFET QM 560. 

'^ Memo, OCQM for Goodman [Overseas Supply 
Div NYPEl, 12 Sep 43, sub: Problems Concerning 
the QMC Sv. ETO 319.25. 



sary to open cases and bundles to deter- 
mine their contents; then the inspecting 
officer notified OCQM and received in- 
structions regarding shipment from the 
port. This time-consuming process was 
frowned upon by port authorities since 
Irish Sea ports suffered occasional Ger- 
man air raids and were under constant 
pressure to speed the turnaround of 
ships and clear discharged cargo out of 
the ports. They resisted cargo sorting 
by the quartermaster if any delay in un- 
loading or port clearance was involved, 
as it almost always was. In the absence 
of instructions, the Transportation Serv- 
ice tended to ship quartermaster items 
as quickly as possible to what was con- 
sidered the most logical Quartermaster 
installation, regardless of the possible 
necessity for rehandling and reshipping." 
Packing and marking, as well as mani- 
fest listings, improved gradually, but the 
need for maximum haste in clearing the 
ports remained a major impediment to 
the efficient handling of quartermaster 
materials.^^ 

Early shortcomings in the movement 
of supplies through the ports into the 
depots were gradually corrected. In the 
zone of interior efforts of NYPE and of 
the technical services to improve the prep- 
aration of ships' manifests and of the 
Air Transport Command to hasten their 
delivery attained notable success. In 
January 1943 only 40 percent were re- 
ceived on time, but by May 1943 this 
figure had risen to 91 percent. ^^ Cable- 

'"Memo, Chief Subs Div [OCQM] for DCQM, 
3 Dec 42, sub: Distr of Subs From Shipside. USFET 
QM 430. 

"Memo, DCQM for OCT, 1 Mar 44, sub: Mis- 
directed Shipment of QM Supplies ex Ship. USFET 
QM 400.22. 

'^ Charts, Time of Receipt of Manifests, 6 Apr, 
7 May, and 7 Jun 43, from SOS ETO Plan, bk. II, 
sec. 5. USFET AG 381. 



282 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



grams and other speedy means of com- 
munication were used to convey the es- 
sential information to the theater if 
manifests did not arrive on time.^'' 

To improve the handling of cargo 
from ports to depots in the United King- 
dom,. SOS ETO asked the zone of in- 
terior agencies concerned to set up a 
new system of marking cargo specifically 
tailored to ETO needs. The "Ugly" 
system — named after its code word for 
United Kingdom — also provided a rudi- 
mentary division of shipments according 
to destination. The United Kingdom 
was to be divided into two zones. Req- 
uisitions would direct movement to the 
zone in which the depot of destination 
was located and thus reduce crosshauls 
between ports and depots. In addition, 
each package or shipment would be 
marked with a combination code tying 
it directly to a specific requisition, speed- 
ing identification in the port, and sim- 
plifying decisions on depot destination.**" 

The cargo marking part of this pro- 
posal was adopted by NYPE and the 
technical services in the zone of interior 
on 23 March 1943. But ASF viewed the 
zoning of the United Kingdom as un- 
justified. Maj. Gen. LeRoy Lutes, Chief 
of Staff for Operations, objected to thus 
assuming partial responsibility for sup- 
ply distribution in the United Kingdom 



™SOS ETO Notes on Staff Conf, 13 Sep 43, re- 
marks by Gen Goodman. USFET AG 337. 

»» (1) Memo, CG SOS ETO for CG ASF. 5 Apr 
43, sub: Zoning of U.K. for Receipt of U.S. Army 
Cargo, quoted in SOS ETO Plan, bk. II, sec. 4C. 
USFET AG 381. The CQM advocated directing 
shipments to a specific port when a single depot 
was to receive the entire ship's cargo but this re- 
finement was not seriously considered. (2) Memo, 
OCQM for G-4, 29 Mar 43, sub: Proposed Area 
Loading. Littlejohn Collection, sec. II. (3) Ltr, 
Littlejohn to G-4 SOS, 16 Jul 42, no sub. Little- 
john Reading File, vol. II, item 59. 



and felt that it would lead to worse con- 
fusion than ever. He believed that the 
solution lay along the lines of improved 
manifests and the use of branch depots 
close to the United Kingdom ports to 
act as wholesale supply points for each 
technical service. ^^ General Lee coun- 
tered that storage space for such "whole- 
sale" depots at portside was simply not 
available, and that British railways 
would be unable to handle cargo from 
150 ships per month, as was planned for 
the full Bolero build-up, unless the 
zoning system or its equivalent was 
adopted.^- But meanwhile the British 
War Office and the Chief of Transporta- 
tion, United States War Department, 
had concluded an agreement on zoning 
early in March, which was put into effect 
three months later. This was based on 
a series of conferences between repre- 
sentatives of the British Ministry of War 
Transport, the British Railways, the U.S. 
War Shipping Administration, and SOS 
ETOUSA. All these agencies had be- 
come convinced that such a plan was es- 
sential. The plan provided for three 
zones, and their code names, Soxo 
(Zone I, North Britain), Glue (Zone 
II, South Britain), and Bang (Zone III, 
Northern Ireland), were substituted for 
Ugly, except for cargo directed to any 
British port.^^ Service chiefs in the 
United Kingdom were to requisition for 



^ Ltr, Lutes to Lee, 6 Mar 43, in SOS ETO Plan, 
bk. II, sec. 5C. USFET AG 381. 

*^ Ltr, Lee to Lutes, i Apr 43; Memo, Lee for 
CG ASF, 5 Apr 43. Both in USFET AG 381. 

^ The two zones in Great Britain were of approx- 
imately equal port capacity. Barry, Bristol, and 
London, each capable of unloading twenty ships 
for the U.S. forces each month, were the important 
ports of Zone II. Liverpool, with thirty-five ships 
per month, was by far the most important port in 
Zone I. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



283 



a particular zone, and ships were to be 
loaded in the United States so far as 
possible with cargo for that zone/* 

Personal inspection of the traffic situa- 
tion in the United Kingdom convinced 
doubtful ASF officers that this system 
was essential despite its added burdens 
on zone of interior agencies.*^ During 
the summer of 1943 details were ironed 
out by conferences and correspondence 
between representatives of New York 
Port of Embarkation and the ETO sup- 
ply services.*" By the time cargo move- 
ment for Overlord reached its peak, the 
system was working smoothly. 

Efforts were also made to improve the 
handling of supplies at ports in the 
United Kingdom. As early as August 
1942 the OCQM had proposed that 
facilities for sorting and reclassification 
of cargoes be installed near the most im- 
portant ports. *^ Such facilities were es- 
sential if the Transportation Service was 
to distribute balanced quantities of var- 
ious components of the ration and sized 
items of clothing directly to their final 
destination without wasteful rehandling 
and crosshauling. Facilities of the type 
needed existed in the form of emergency 
storage sheds behind the large ports. 
These sheds had been set up by the 



^ (1) Memo, Actg CofT for G-4 SOS ETOUSA, 
13 Mar 43. USFET G-4. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical 
Support, I, 144. (3) Notes on Conf Between Devers, 
ASF, and Chiefs of Svs, 7 May 43, remarks by Gen 
Lutes. USFET AG 337. (4) Memo, Chiefs of Svs 
SOS ETO for Gen Collins, 14 Jun 43. sub: Ugly 
System of Marking and Forwarding Supplies, SOS 
ETO Plan, bk. IL sec. 52. USFET AG 381. 

^SOS ETO Notes on Staff Conf, 19 Jul 43, re- 
marks by Col Ottzenn, Superintendent Army Trans- 
port Sv, NYPE. USFET AG 337. 

*" Memo, Chief of Opns 871 for QM Sv, 22 Oct 
43, sub: Gen Info From NYPE. USFET QM 319.1. 

^ Memo, Stock Control Div for CQM, 5 Aug 42, 
sub: Distr USFET QM 475. 



British primarily for rapid clearance of 
ports in the event of air attack, but also 
to serve as equipping points for embark- 
ing task forces. With both functions in 
mind, the Ministry of War Transport 
categorically refused to risk congesting 
these emergency facilities by allowing 
them to be used for permanent storage.*® 
But ever since the fall of 1942 a few 
of these sheds had been employed for 
sorting by individual American imits, 
notably of the Air Forces, on the basis 
of specific and temporary agreements.®^ 
A series of conferences between the in- 
terested U.S. and British agencies held 
in May 1943 produced an understanding 
whereby the American technical services 
were granted conditional use of shed 
space behind major port areas at Liver- 
pool, Bristol, Cardiff, and Glasgow. 
Supplies were not to be permanently 
stored there, and assigned space was sub- 
ject to withdrawal on seventy-two hours' 
notice. If the sheds had to be cleared, 
the labor force, civilian and military, 
ordinarily employed by each service 
would assist in the emergency clearance 
and remain to help the British.^" In 
the sorting sheds, the Quartermaster 
Corps received the largest share assigned 
to any single service, since one of their 
chief uses would be the sorting and re- 
consignment of sized clothing in bal- 
anced lots direct to depots issuing to 



^ (1) Memo, CofT for CQM, 2 Mar 43, sub: Use 
of Sorting Sheds by QM. USFET QM (600. (2) In- 
terv with Littlejohn, 3 May 60. 

** Memo, Deputy Comdr SOS for CG Eighth Air 
Force, 21 Apr 43, and Inds, sub: Sorting Sheds. 
USFET AG 633. 

**' (1) Inland Sorting Sheds, Notes on a Mtg . . ., 
12 May 43. USFET AG 337. (2) Memo, CG SOS 
ETO for Chiefs of Supply Svs, 15 Aug 43, sub: In- 
land Sorting Sheds. USFET QM 567. 



284 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



troops.^^ It was estimated that reship- 
ment of about 90 percent of sized cloth- 
ing would have been necessary if the 
clothing had been sent directly from 
shipside to the nearest depot.^^ 

As already described, the almost dis- 
astrous confusion that accompanied out- 
loading for the Torch expedition had 
taught Littlejohn a bitter lesson. Con- 
sequently, as the Transportation Corps' 
port units came into the United King- 
dom, the OCQM attempted with indif- 
ferent success to instruct them in special- 
ized QMC cargo sorting and inventory 
techniques. Although each port or- 
ganization included QMC personnel 
who should have been used for this pur- 
pose, most port commanders insisted on 
using them as housekeeping or station 
complement troops. Moreover, few of 
these port quartermasters were trained 
for their real duties. Littlejohn was 
therefore obliged to provide extra per- 
sonnel to perform these specialized func- 
tions, and even then had to overcome con- 
siderable resistance from port com- 
manders who believed that cargo sorting 
was unnecessary. It should be noted that 
General Ross found many of his original 
port commanders lacking in the required 
flexibility for duty under foreign condi- 
tions and had to relieve more than half 
of them before D-day. Littlejohn found 
General Ross himself somewhat unsym- 
pathetic to the Quartermaster point of 
view, and had to appeal to the SOS com- 



*" On 22 March 1943 OCQM requested 150,000 
square feet of shed space at Liverpool, 100,000 
square feet at Bristol, and 50,000 square feet each 
at Newport and Glasgow. QM Supply in ETO, I, 
60. 

»»Memo, CO G-35 for CQM, 2 Nov 43, sub: 
Sorting Sheds. USFET QM 000.4. 



mander to lay down rules for effective 
co-operation.^^ 

On 15 August 1943 General Lee di- 
rected each service to furnish a liaison 
officer and enlisted assistants to the staff 
of each port commander. This directive 
regularized arrangements to control 
movement of supplies from the ports via 
sorting sheds to depots. Thereafter, the 
Quartermaster port representative and 
his assistants served as a direct personal 
liaison between the OCQM and each 
port commander to speed the movement 
of supplies by action on the spot. Be- 
fore the arrival of a ship, the Quarter- 
master representative or his men ex- 
amined the manifest or loading cable 
sent him by OCQM that indicated the 
destination of supplies. He planned 
with Transportation Service the methods 
of handling these supplies. When the 
ship arrived, he checked the actual cargo, 
taking particular note of items not listed 
on the manifest or not properly marked, 
phoned information on such undocu- 
mented cargo to OCQM, and requested 
appropriate disposition instructions. 
These teams also inspected rail cars as 
they were loaded and dispatched in 
order to eliminate as far as possible 
mixed loads and improper waybills, and 
checked notices of shipments to the de- 
pots to make sure that all useful in- 
formation was transmitted correctly and 
on time. They advised the port com- 
mander on items requiring sorting, 
supervised all shipside documentation of 
supplies, and notified the sorting sheds 
of goods on the way to them. Finally, 



^ (i) Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation 
Corps: Operations Overseas, p. 1 10. (2) Littlejohn's 
Memo 4 for Dr. Stetson Conn, OCMH, 27 Sep 59. 
Hist Br OQMG. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



285 



the teams made detailed reports on each 
day's activities to OCQM and summar- 
ized them weekly.^* 

Even after General Lee's directive had 
clarified the status of port liaison per- 
sonnel, Littlejohn continued to en- 
counter some opposition. But these 
representatives, in close touch with both 
the OCQM and the Transportation 
Service, proved their worth and filled a 
major gap in the supply chain. As the 
flow of supplies accelerated late in 1943, 
their assistance was most important, 
especially in connection with items re- 
quiring sorting before shipment. De- 
spite the improvements effected by the 
Ugly system, there remained an ap- 
parently irreducible minimum of Quar- 
termaster supplies, in the neighborhood 
of 25 percent, for which the destination 
could not be determined on the basis of 
documents in advance of arrival. These 
supplies the port representatives identi- 
fied and speeded on their way. In addi- 
tion, they provided information valu- 
able to the receiving depots in their 
day-to-day operations. ^^ 

Pilferage in transit and in storage was 
another problem of overseas supply. 
Wartime shortages made quartermaster 
items very tempting to those in touch 
with black market dealers, both British 
civilians and U.S. soldiers. This situa- 
tion, combined with relatively poor 



«* (1) Memo, S&D Div OCQM for Littlejohn, 
7 May 43, sub: Distr Control Plan. Littlejohn Col- 
lection, sec. IL (2) Memo, CG SOS ETOUSA for 
Chief of Svs, 15 Aug 43, sub: Port Representatives. 
USFET AG 381. (3) Memo, S&D Div OCQM for 
Littlejohn, 27 Oct 43, sub: Port Representatives 
and Sorting Sheds. USFET QM 600. 

^ (1) Memo, CO G-35 for CQM, 2 Nov 43, sub: 
Port Liaison Representative. LISFET QM 000.4. 
(2) Memo, CQM for CO WBS, 5 Nov 43, and Inds, 
sub: Opn of Sorting Sheds and Utilization of Port 
Liaison Offs. Hist Br OQMG. 



guarding of supplies both in transit and 
in storage, made losses inevitable. As 
early as September 1942 reports reached 
Cieneral Lee indicating that pilferage had 
mounted to serious proportions.^*' In- 
vestigation indicated that poor packing 
and rough handling, which exposed the 
contents of cases, and storage in remote 
locations where they were hard to pro- 
tect, plus the indifferent attitude of U.S. 
troops, made pilfering of goods in tran- 
sit temptingly easy. Obvious remedies 
were increasing the number of guards 
at docks and other exposed places, more 
careful handling and checking of goods 
in transit, and closer co-operation with 
the British civilian and military police."^ 
Such measures were in effect by the end 
of 1942 and by the following April Lee 
was able to assure Somervell that the 
pilferage problem was well under con- 
trol. ^^ 

Despite these assurances the ETO 
Provost Marshal reported in May 1943 
that "the amount of goods stolen is 
tremendous and that the fault is due 
largely to the failure of our own people 
to take reasonable adequate measures to 
safeguard the property." ^" But it ap- 
peared that those most worried about 
pilferage might be exaggerating the 



**" Memo, ACofS G-i for Lee, 3 Sep 42, sub: 
Pilfering. USFET AG 400.73. 

«^ (1) Memo, PMG ETO for CofS SOS ETO, 16 
Sep 42, sub: Prevention of Pilfering and Police of 
Docks; Memo, SOS ETO for CO's of Ports, 27 Sep 
42, sub: Prevention of Pilfering of U.S. Stores at 
Ports. Both in USFET AG 400.73. (2) Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for CG SOS, 29 Oct 42, sub: Losses and 
Pilferage at Docks, Depots, and in Transit. USFET 
QM 400.73. 

•^Cir 58, Hq SOS ETO, 1 Dec 42, Prevention of 
Pilferage; Ltr, CG ETO to Somervell, 5 Apr 43, no 
sub. Both in USFET AG 400.73. 

"»Memo, PMG ETO for AG ETO, 28 May 43, 
sub: Theft of Stores From Warehouses. USFET 
QM 400.73. 



286 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



losses. Reports of goods missing were 
often based on discrepancies in the rec- 
ords rather than on physical evidence of 
loss. Investigation revealed that many 
supposed losses were paper shortages 
rather than actual thefts. Blankets, for 
instance, were usually tallied into ware- 
houses in bundles that were not broken 
down and counted until later. Inaccu- 
rate record keeping, rather than theft, 
was clearly the cause of some of these 
shortages. ^°° 

One measure against pilfering that 
might possibly have been exploited to a 
greater degree was the use of guard 
dogs. They were especially effective for 
patrolling outdoor storage areas at night. 
One man and one dog were considered 
to be as effective as six or eight ordinary 
guards. Teams of eight men and eight 
dogs were trained by the Ministry of 
Aircraft Production in a five-week 
course in a school at Cheltenham. The 
dogs were loaned to the Americans for 
the duration by British civilians; no 
American dogs arrived in the British 
Isles, although some were used on the 
Continent later. The men were all 
American volunteers. By the end of 
1943 there were twenty-t^vo such teams. 
An American guard dog school, also at 
Cheltenham, was organized late in 1943 
under the Depot Branch of OCQM. 
The maximum number of teams, fifty- 
six, was reached shortly before D-day. 
They were considered Quartermaster 
units, but were used by all of the tech- 
nical services and many combat units. ^''^ 



Actually, combined efforts along all 
lines proved reasonably successful in 
checking losses. A number of civilians 
and U.S. soldiers were arrested at Liver- 
pool in January 1943 and at Glasgow in 
May. Organized black market rings 
were broken up by co-operative action 
of the ETO Provost Marshal and the 
British Special Investigations Branch 
(Ports). Security in transit and in the 
depots was tightened and recording of 
supply movements improved to a point 
where losses were detected early enough 
for effective follow-up.^°- These meas- 
ures could not eliminate pilferage en- 
tirely, but they did prevent the large- 
scale losses that the U.S. Army suffered 
in other theaters. 



During the thirty months of logistical 
preparations that culminated on D-day, 
the United Kingdom was at once a 
sovereign Allied power, largely pre- 
occupied with its own contribution to 
Overlord, a densely populated country 
with a highly complex civilian economy, 
and an American forward base area 
reasonably secure against enemy inter- 
ference. From the narrow viewpoint 
of American Quartermaster operations, 
only freedom from enemy interference 
was a clear and unmistakable asset; the 
other conditions engendered irritating 
complications. There were compensat- 
ing advantages, of course, but they could 
only be exploited by an elaborate proc- 
ess of inter-Allied co-ordination and 



I"" Memo, CO Depot G-30 for McKeever, OCQM, 
5 Jun 43, sub: Pilferage. USFET QM 400.73. 

"1 (1) Ltr. Hq SOS ETOUSA to CG ETOUSA, 
sub: Guard Dogs, 10 Jul 43. AG 454.3 MT&SD. (2) 
IRS, Depot Br S&D Div to Hist Records OCQM, 
sub: Guard Dog School, 3 Jan 44. USFET QM 
353-5- (3) Q.^ Supply in ETO, VIII, 96-97. 



^"^ (1) Memo, PMG for AG ETO, 28 May 43, sub: 
Theft of Stores From Warehouses; Memo, Hq SOS 
ETO for CG WBS, 10 Jul 43, sub: Theft and Sale 
of Government Supplies. Both in USFET QM 
400.73. (2) Memo, Chief S&D Div for CQM, 14 Feb 
44, sub: Investigation of Discrepancies in Incoming 
Shipments, Depot G-25. USFET QM 400.61. 



THE QM ESTABLISHMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 



287 



liaison, requiring many competent and 
experienced staff officers. 

In retrospect, it appears likely that 
the difficult problems inherent in 
Bolero were precisely the ones that 
contributed valuable lessons and useful 
precedents for the future. Members of 
the American technical services had 
never previously encountered real prob- 
lems in the matter of working space. 
Even in such small and heavily indus- 
trialized states as Maryland and Dela- 
ware, military installations were usually 
of ample size and equipped with every 
facility. In the United Kingdom quar- 
termasters learned how to operate small 
depots, dispersed during the period of 
German air superiority, and located in 
densely populated areas. For them 
Bolero was an intensive course in how 
to "do without." They learned how to 
use open storage instead of covered 
warehouses, and how to get along with 
a minimum of materials-handling equip- 
ment, with limited civilian labor, with 
a meager ration of gasoline, and with 
severely curtailed rail services. They 
demonstrated that the problem of shar- 
ing docks, railways, highways, and man- 
power pools with civilians, while simul- 
taneously supporting large combat forces, 
can be solved, although not easily. In 
a nation which had converted almost its 
entire industry to essential military pur- 
poses, it was often difficult to establish 
priorities between purely military activi- 
ties and industrial programs of equal 
importance. Americans had to learn 
that the regimentation of British indus- 
try, which made it completely subser- 
vient to the national war effort, by no 
means implied that individual indus- 
trial operations would be modified to 
suit the local convenience of American 



military installations. Such matters were 
decided by representatives of the vari- 
ous supply ministries of the British Gov- 
ernment, which maintained a very con- 
siderable degree of ascendancy over both 
the British and U.S. military forces as 
long as those forces remained in the 
United Kingdom. Despite initial mis- 
givings and occasional inconveniences, 
quartermasters found this arrangement 
to be a practical one. Indeed, the neces- 
sary co-ordination between American 
soldiers and British civilians could 
hardly have been achieved in any other 
way. 

Direct liaison between British and 
American technical services during the 
Bolero period did not present any new 
or unfamiliar problems, but during a 
logistical build-up of unprecedented size 
lasting more than two years, old prob- 
lems inevitably took on new dimensions. 
The intimacy of co-ordination that 
proved to be necessary and the sheer 
volume of international dealings which 
had to be transacted exceeded all pre- 
vious experience. The various British 
logistical headquarters had to set up 
separate staff sections solely to deal with 
the Americans, and the U.S. services 
found that their requirements for com- 
petent staff personnel far surpassed ex- 
pectations. In this relationship British 
responsibilities were more exacting than 
the corresponding American ones, but 
the situation demanded revised stand- 
ards of competence for liaison personnel 
of both nations. Staff officers had to be 
trained not only in their own special- 
ties, but also in the completely different 
staff and supply procedures of a foreign 
army. One other essential qualification 
of such officers should also be noted. At 
AFHQ and later at SHAEF General 



288 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



Eisenhower maintained the principle 
that only officers who were able and 
willing to co-operate with Allies were 
suitable for positions on his staff. Al- 
though at lower levels and among the 
technical services there was no official 
enforcement of this principle, a 



co- 



operative spirit was in fact an essential 
qualification for all liaison and made 
the solution of technical problems com- 
paratively easy. Unofficial, personal 
contacts involved problems of a different 
kind, which are discussed in the follow- 
ing chapter. 



CHAPTER X 



Living in Britain 



The first sizable contingent of U.S. 
troops (4,058 men of the 34th Division) 
reached Northern Ireland on 26 January 
1942, and by D-day there were more 
than one and one-half million Ameri- 
cans in the United Kingdom. The 
earliest units arrived ready for combat 
in a theater where a German invasion 
was still a lively possibility, but their 
own mounting numbers and favorable 
events in other theaters during 1942 
made such an event less and less likely. 
The realization that major combat in 
the theater would come only on Allied 
initiative brought some slackening of 
tension, and after the Torch operation 
— one of the best-kept secrets of the war 
— had been unveiled, even amateur 
strategists could foresee that an assault 
on the Continent would have to be post- 
poned. Thus during 1942-43 ground 
and service troops in the British Isles 
found themselves in a very quiet theater, 
almost like an extension of the zone of 
interior. But the blackout, occasional 
enemy air raids, and the operations and 
combat losses of the Army Air Forces 
were reminders that the enemy was 
within striking distance. 

Training — much of it basic training 
for incompletely trained troops — was a 
major activity in the United Kingdom, 
especially among service units. As early 
as May 1942 General Lee had reluc- 
tantly accepted partially trained units 



because of the world-wide shortage of 
service troops. The shortage continued 
through 1943, and very few of the serv- 
ice units arriving in the ETO were ade- 
quately trained. Time had to be found 
for close-order drill and weapons famil- 
iarization, although the men were work- 
ing long hours on the docks or in the 
depots. Ground combat troops likewise 
came into the theater incompletely 
trained and went through field training 
exercises of mounting complexity. Life 
in Britain was neither soft nor idle, but 
activities were considerably different 
from those in the rear areas of an active 
theater of war.^ 

Foreign uniforms and accents were no 
novelties in the United Kingdom. 
Troops from most of the dominions and 
colonies of the Empire had been present 
almost since the war began. Each suc- 
cessive disaster on the Continent had 
brought in a wave of what were, in 
reality, refugees in uniform, so that 
Poles, Free French, Norwegians, and 
Netherlanders were seen everywhere. 
Americans were something else again, 
emphatically not refugees or colonials, 
but guests who felt very much at home, 
persistent in the delusion that they 
spoke the language of the country, and 
with money in their pockets. The high 



' (1) See above, p. 28. (2) Ruppenthal, Logistical 
Support, I, 57. (3) QM Supply in ETO, VIII, 6. 



290 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



pay scale and spendthrift habits of U.S. 
personnel were sources of irritation to 
their British hosts. By giving large tips 
and paying exorbitant prices, U.S. serv- 
icemen received considerably more than 
their share of personal services and of 
the few articles that were not rationed. 
On the other hand, their spending was 
a valuable source of dollars to the hard- 
pressed British Treasury. Troubled by 
the very clear relationship bet^veen reck- 
less spending and troop disciplinary 
problems, SOS headquarters launched 
an intensive campaign to encourage in- 
creased family and other allotments and 
purchases of war bonds. By Septem- 
ber 1943 SOS troops had been persuaded 
to save more than half their pay, and 
during the following spring a similar 
campaign among First Army troops was 
even more successful. By May 1944 
American troops were sending home 73 
percent of their pay, and spending much 
of the balance in U.S. post exchanges, 
so that the inflationary impact upon the 
British economy was reduced.^ 

Inevitably several hundred thousand 
American troops fresh from training 
camps in the zone of interior, where 
they had been sheltered from the mod- 
est beginnings of U.S. civilian rationing, 
made a severe impact on the war econ- 
omy of Great Britain in its fourth year 
of conflict. The "Yanks" — including 
many southerners who never became 
reconciled to that nickname — were com- 
ing into an English-speaking area where 
they expected to find many of the com- 
forts and conveniences of their accus- 



^ (1) See above, ch. II. (2) Notes on Comd and 
Staff Conf, Hq SBS, 2 Nov 43. USFF.T AG 337. (3) 
FUSA Rpt of Opns, 20 Oct 43-1 Aug 44, VII, 216. 
(4) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, 
P- 353- 



tomed civilian environment. Instead 
they found no ice cream, no Coca Cola, 
and very little beer; candy, razor blades, 
soap, writing paper, and even toilet 
paper were rationed. The widespread 
drafting of women was both a shocking 
fact and an inconvenience — in many 
towns it was hard to find anyone to 
press trousers, iron shirts, tend a bar, or 
even sell postcards. Trains were un- 
heated and taxis almost nonexistent. 
The newcomers were admitted to the 
NAAFI store, the British soldier's PX, 
but found its contents unfamiliar, 
meager, and unsatisfying. Naturally, 
the troops and their commanders de- 
manded that the Quartermaster Service 
supply all their wants. Some of these 
demands could be met by imports from 
the United States, but others could not 
be met at all in wartime. Ultimately, 
rationed local resources produced far 
more than the OCQM had originally 
expected, partly because U.S. require- 
ments were different and not entirely in 
competition with the demands of British 
troops. 

Subsistence 

The first American troops to land in 
Northern Ireland found that the ninety- 
day supply of rations which should have 
accompanied them had not arrived. No 
American rations were available in the 
theater, and it took several months to 
build up a depot system to the point 
where reliable distribution of rations 
was possible. Meanwhile the Royal 
Army Service Corps (RASC) supplied 
American troops with the regular British 
Army ration, which quickly became un- 
popular. Reflecting British tastes and 
the available resources of the United 
Kingdom, its basic ingredients were dark 



LIVING IN BRITAIN 



291 



whole-wheat bread, potatoes, tea, mut- 
ton, and smoked fish. Moreover it was 
skimpy, weighing three and one-fourth 
pounds in contrast to the five and one- 
half pounds of the standard American 
ration. Actually, the British "regular" 
(Home Forces) ration was similar in 
concept and purpose to the prewar garri- 
son ration of the U.S. Army, which had 
also been augmented by a monetary al- 
lowance. A British unit received two 
and a half pence (four cents) per man 
per day while in garrison, and its unit 
mess funds also benefited by receipts 
from unit gardens, and from money- 
making schemes such as sale of surplus 
fats and garbage. Most of these benefits 
were contrary to current U.S. Army 
regulations, and initially none of them 
were available to U.S. units in Great 
Britain.^ 

Reverse lend-lease enabled American 
units to become customers of the Navy 
Army Air Force Institute where British 
units spent a good deal of their avail- 
able cash in purchases of fruits, vege- 
tables, and other foods, supplied prac- 
tically at cost. NAAFI has been com- 
pared to the U.S. Army Exchange Serv- 
ice (AES) , but was actually a larger, 
more versatile, and more autonomous 
organization — a military version of the 
powerful co-operative chains familiar 
in British civilian life. NAAFI was 
equipped to supply many foods pre- 
ferred by Americans; in co-operation 
with the RASC and the OCQM, the 
British modified their basic ration, re- 
ducing the quantities of bread, potatoes, 
mutton, and tea, and increasing the 



amount of beef, vegetables, fruit, and 
coffee.* With these changes, the so- 
called British-American ration was 
evolved, weighing four and a half 
pounds and containing 4,100 calories. 
Even this augmentation did not provide 
a fully adequate diet for all troops, and 
the Chief Quartermaster persuaded the 
British to increase the allowance another 
15 percent for men engaged in hard 
labor.^ 

As the inventories mounted American 
troops gradually changed over from the 
British-American to a straight American 
ration. This switch occurred in North- 
ern Ireland as early as March 1942, only 
about two months after the first U.S. 
troops arrived there. In England the 
transition took place as the subsistence 
depots began to function in the late 
autumn of 1942.^ An important part of 
the change involved replacing British 
mess and subsistence depot personnel. 
The process was hastened by criticism 
from the War Department, which was 
dissatisfied with a policy of calling on 
the British without employing U.S. serv- 



» (1) Ltr, CO Hq Comd ETOUSA to CG 
ETOUSA, 21 Aug 42, sub: Rations. USFET AG 
430.2. (2) QM Supply in ETO, II, 88-89. 



* Memo, Maj Herman for Col Carter, Subs Div 
OCQM, 28 Aug 42, sub: Facts Concerning British- 
American Ration. Hist Br OQMG. 

"" (i) Memo, CQM to G-4 SOS (Opns), 29 Jul 42, 
sub: Additional Allowance of Rations; Memo, Chief 
Subs Div to CQM, 11 Aug 42, sub: Basis for 15 
percent Increase in Rations; Ltr, CQM to Deputy 
Dir Supplies and Transport, War Office, 9 Aug 42, 
no sub. All in USFET QM 430.2. (2) Maj. Gen. 
Thomas W. Richardson, RASC, the Deputy Director 
of Supplies and Transport, War Office, provided 
invaluable assistance, both administrative and tech- 
nical, in the development of a British-American 
ration. Cf. Ltr, CQM ETO to CG ETO, 16 Jun 
45, sub: Recommendation for Award of Legion of 
Merit. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. XXXVII, item 
50. 

"Memo, CO Depot G-14 for CG WBS, 5 Oct 42, 
sub: American Rations, Liverpool Area. USFET 
QM 430.2. 



292 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



ice troops to full advantage. Lee had 
reported on 6 October that, because 
of the continued shortage of suitably 
trained U.S. personnel, the British Army 
was- still feeding about 50,000 American 
troops. The base sections were directed 
to correct this situation with all possible 
speed and report progress monthly. By 
the end of the year the number of U.S. 
troops still subsisting permanently on 
the British-American ration was less 
than 1,000, and consisted mainly of very 
small technical detachments working in 
British installations and too isolated to 
draw on American depots. But this ra- 
tion continued to be supplied to U.S. 
units and individuals temporarily located 
in predominantly British areas, and in 
many cases to newly arrived units. ^ 

With the aim of combining subsis- 
tence imported from the United States 
and items procured locally into a series 
of menus that would offer the American 
soldier the most suitable diet, the OCQM 
undertook the revision of the current 
American Type A ration in co-operation 
with the theater Chief Surgeon. The 
initial flow of subsistence from the zone 
of interior was based on OQMG Ex- 
peditionary Force Menu 1, a Type B 
field ration that used only canned, de- 
hydrated, and other nonperishable 
items.* Even the British-American ra- 
tion was superior to the Type B, but 



^ (1) Ltr, Lee to CG ETOUSA, 6 Oct 42, sub: 
SOS Troops and Labor Situation. USFET AG 320.2. 
(2) Memo, OCQM for QM SBS, 16 Dec 42. and 
ist Ind, sub: British-American Ration. Littlejohn 
Collection, sec. IL (3) Ltr, CG SBS to CG SOS 
ETO, 4 Jan 43, sub: British-American Ration. 
USFET AG 430. (4) Ruppenthal, Logistical Sup- 
port, I, 111. (5) Memo, CQM for CGSOS, 3 Jun 
43, sub: Answers to Questions. USFET AG 310.1. 

' Risch, The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, 
Supply, and Services, 1, ch. V, passim. 



Littlejohn was convinced that for rea- 
sons of morale as well as nutrition, 
American troops should receive a diet 
as similar as possible to the Type A 
ration served in the United States, de- 
spite the added difficulties in storage and 
distribution. The OCQM studied the 
problem carefully and found that the 
required items fell into two main cate- 
gories: fresh meats and fats, which were 
in short supply in the British Isles, and 
fruits and vegetables, which might be 
procured locally. 

Since a large proportion of Britain's 
meats and fats were imported, additional 
imports would be needed to provide for 
the American troops. The British sug- 
gested that a common store be set up, 
pointing out that this would economize 
on transportation, labor, and storage 
space. The OCQM rejected this solu- 
tion for several reasons. First, it would 
deplete British reserves and temporarily 
reduce the meager meat ration of British 
civilians. In the current situation, even 
a temporary decrease in civilian rations 
was undesirable. Second, the staple 
British meat was mutton; Americans 
preferred beef. And finally the ETO 
quartermasters were eager to set up an 
independent supply line and practice 
the procedures that would become neces- 
sary if an American force ever secured 
a lodgment on the Continent. But the 
two supply systems could not be com- 
pletely independent; construction of 
separate refrigerated storage to be used 
for only a few months was clearly un- 
justified, and the QMC agreed to share 
British cold storage facilities. Frozen 
meats, fats, and cheeses moved in British 
freight cars from the ports to British 
refrigerated warehouses near the prin- 
cipal U.S. troop centers, where they were 



LIVING IN BRITAIN 



293 




British Women War Workers unloading American supplies at Thatcham Depot, 
October 1942. 



held until distributed to the consuming 
units. ^ 

Inevitably, shortages of refrigerated 
transportation caused some difficulties. 
During 1942 and 1943, for lack of such 
equipment, perishables were often 
shipped in freight cars and trucks which 
were insulated but not refrigerated. If 
these trips were short, taking no more 
than two to three days, such transporta- 
tion was generally satisfactory. Even- 



»Ltr, OCQM to CO Depot G-25, 7 Sep 42, sub: 
Proc Storage and Withdrawal of Perishable Subs 
Items. USFET QM 430. 



tually, improved handling procedures 
and the importation of refrigerated rail 
cars made for a better system of moving 
perishables. A by-product of this short- 
age was the British ban on all produc- 
tion of ice cream. A ready ice cream 
mix, requiring only water, was available 
in the zone of interior, and considerable 
quantities were actually shipped to the 
United Kingdom. This could have been 
manufactured locally without adding to 
the transport burden. Nevertheless, out 
of deference for British feelings. General 
Lee personally forbade the making and 
serving of ice cream in Great Britain. 



294 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



The ban was lifted shortly after Lee de- 
parted for Normandy in August 1944.^° 
Since fresh produce was available lo- 
cally, arrangements were made for U.S. 
troops to get a proportionate share of 
the fruits and vegetables commonly 
grown in the United Kingdom. Thus 
cabbage, brussels sprouts, potatoes, let- 
tuce, beans, root vegetables, and small 
quantities of apples and pears were ob- 
tained on reverse lend-lease from local 
commercial sources and from NAAFI. 
Beginning in the summer of 1942, U.S. 
troops also participated actively in 
British gardening activities. On 1 1 Au- 
gust 1942, Littlejohn became ETOUSA 
agricultural officer, and shortly there- 
after established an Agricultural Branch 
in the Service Installations Division of 
OCQM. The branch maintained liaison 
with a corresponding agency in the 
British Army and with the Ministry of 
Agriculture to obtain seeds, tools, and 
expert advice for the agricultural officers 
of American units, maintained statistical 
records, and prepared informational 
literature for the troops. Produce might 
be used locally or sold to NAAFI. In 
either case a profit was credited to the 
post, camp, and station fund for the 
benefit of the troops. Exact accounting 
was very difficult because of frequent 
shifts of troop units, so that U.S. troops 
harvested crops planted by British sol- 
diers, and vice versa. Americans culti- 
vated nearly 8,000 acres in 1942 and over 



^° (1) Memo, OCQM for Chief Transportation 
Div, 4 Aug 42, sub: Transportation of Perishables; 
Ltr, OCQM to Ministry of Food, 7 Jan 44, no sub. 
Both in USFET QM 430. (2) Memo, DCQM for 
CQM [ca. Jan. 44], sub: Reefer Rail Cars. USFET 
004. (3) Hancock and Cowing, British War Econ- 
omy, p. 485. (4) Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, 
ch. 33, p. 25. (5) Interv with Col Leo J. Meyer, 
TC, 25 Oct 57. 



15,000 in 1943. The Eighth Air Force 
was particularly active in this work and 
continued it during 1944, after the bulk 
of the ground forces had departed for 
the Continent. In that year the prod- 
uct of combined British and American 
military agriculture was estimated at 50,- 
000 ship tons.^^ 

The main problem in handling fresh 
fruits and vegetables stemmed from the 
irregularity of supply and variations in 
quality. Kinds and quantities varied 
with the season, weather, and crop con- 
ditions. Complaints were frequent that 
the lettuce was tough, the apples and 
pears woody, and the cabbage rank and 
stringy. Irrespective of quality, Ameri- 
cans disliked parsnips and brussels 
sprouts. Depot subsistence officers did 
not always know the amounts forthcom- 
ing, and since their stocks often had to 
be issued quickly to avoid spoilage, re- 
ceiving units frequently refused the 
vegetables rather than go to the trouble 
of revising the menu to include them.^- 

A relatively small but occasionally 
troublesome problem was the controlled 
distribution of shell eggs, oranges, and 
milk. These highly nourishing foods 
were required for treating hospital pa- 
tients and were supplied, for reasons of 
health as well as morale, to U.S. Navy 
submarine crews and to air crews on 
combat duty or in training. Surplus 



" (1) QM Supply in ETO, V\, 97-99. (2) 
ETOUSA Cirs 81 (6 Dec 42) and 31 (23 Mar 43). 
(3) ETOUSA Agricultural Bulls. 1942-43. USFET 
AG 331.6. 

^^ (1) Memo, Actg CQM for QM WBS, 3 Apr 44, 
sub: Use of Fresh Vegetables. Littlejohn Collection, 
sec. IL (2) Ltr, OCQM Subs Div to NAAFL 23 
Jun 43, no sub; Memo, CQM for DCQM, 19 Nov 
43, sub: Review of Subs; Memo, Chief Subs Div 
for DCQM, 5 Feb 44, sub: Complete Survey of 
Subs Situation in U.K. All in USFET AG 430. 



LIVING IN BRITAIN 



295 



ships' stores were occasional but irreg- 
ular and unreliable sources of these 
items. NAAFI provided i egg per day 
for hospitalized stomach cases, 2 eggs 
per week for other hospital patients, and 
3 eggs and 3 pieces of fruit per week for 
all submarine, air force combat, and 
flight training crews. ^^ A special in- 
flight ration for aircraft crews, in large 
part locally procured hard candies, was 
supplied by the OCQM until mid-1943, 
^vhen it became a standard Air Forces 
item, supplied by AAF technical de- 
pots.^* The use of fresh milk, although 
it ^vas available in small quantities from 
British production, was prohibited by 
the ETO Chief Surgeon because the 
British did not test their cattle for 
tuberculosis in accordance with U.S. 
standards. Milk requirements therefore 
had to be met by importing canned, 
evaporated, and dried milk.^^ 

The ETO A ration, which became 
effective in March 1943, established a 
pattern that remained constant imtil 
V-E Day despite minor changes in de- 
tail.^" Quantitatively, it was devised to 
be adequate but not excessive and totaled 
4,050 calories per man per day as against 
the earlier ration's 4,500 calories, which 
in practice had proved wasteful. The 
inevitability of substitutions at various 
points in the supply chain was recog- 
nized, and foods were listed in nutri- 



" (1) Memo, OCQM for QM NIBS, 8 Nov 43, 
sub: Distr of Surplus Ships' Stores. USFET AG 
430. (2) Memo, Chief Subs Div for CQM, 17 May 
43, sub: Fresh Eggs for Hospital Patients and AF 
Combat Crews. USFET QM 434. 

'* Interv with Littlejohn, 29 Oct 57. 

^■' Memo, Chief Surgeon for AG ETO, 29 Jul 42, 
sub: Instrs Governing the Use of Cow's Milk in 
ETOUSA. USFET QM 434. 

" (1) Cir 13, Hq ETOUSA. 11 Feb 43. Repro- 
duced in full in Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, 
ch. 33, vol. II, app. 3A. (2) See Table 17. 



tional groups within which one item 
could be substituted for another with 
the least damage to nutritional balance. 
A special ration scale was set up for 
hospital patients, which provided a 
lower caloric intake by reducing starches 
and fats but which increased those items 
useful in special diets, such as boned 
chicken, strained fruits and vegetables, 
fruit juices, and milk.^^ 

U.S. Navy personnel in the British 
Isles had evolved their own British- 
American ration, using components sup- 
plied by the British Admiralty in a> 
manner closely parallel to Army experi- 
ence. As soon as a purely American ra- 
tion became available, it was supplied to 
naval shore installations from the near- 
est QM Class I depot exactly as it was 
to Army units. Ships, especially those 
operating at sea for extended periods, 
demanded a slightly different menu, but 
the OCQM was able to meet their re- 
quirements too. Experience showed that 
smaller ships, like small Army messes, 
inevitably utilized food less efficiently 
than larger units, and a 10 percent al- 
lowance was made for this. But the 
OCQM had not foreseen that tactical 
movements of naval combat units might 
result in sudden and very heavy de- 
mands for rations at a single depot. On 
one occasion in the spring of 1943 a 
large part of the fleet pulled into south- 
ern England and asked to be provi- 
sioned immediately for a cruise of sev- 
eral weeks. The OCQM had received 
no advance information, and the local 
depot was stocked to supply only a 

'" (1) Memo, CQM and Chief Surgeon for CG 
ETO, 14 Jan 43, sub: Proposed Revised Ration 
Allowances. USFET AG 430.2. (2) Memo, CQM 
for QM's of Base Sees, 21 May 43, sub: Conserva- 
tion of Food; Memo, CQM for DTQMG, 22 Jun 43, 
sub: Situation Rpt Subs. ETO 430. 



296 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



limited number of troops. Littlejohn 
recalled later that: 

A squawk went to the "top salt" and I 
got sent for. The "top salt's" Chief of 
Staff and I had a very firm but pleasant 
conversation. Out of it came the appoint- 
ment of Captain Polatti, USN, as aide to 
the Chief Quartermaster. His job was to 
advise the Quartermaster Service what the 
Navy wanted, when they wanted it, and 
where they wanted it. From then on the 
Navy got what they wanted. 

The original difficulty, of course, 
stemmed from the fact that the Navy 
could not conceive of a major port which 
was not the site of a major depot. Little- 
john, also, would have liked to locate 
depots at major ports, but this had 
been impossible for reasons already de- 
scribed.^^ 

During the build-up period, a num- 
ber of minor problems interfered with 
the most efficient operation of the sub- 
sistence program. In the summer and 
fall of 1942, large stocks of subsistence 
had been accumulated in the United 
Kingdom to provide for the troops later 
sent to North Africa. The most perish- 
able and most desirable items were 
issued first, while very large stocks of 
other items accumulated. Some of these 
overstockages, such as canned hash, stew. 
Spam, and chili con carne, were offered 
to the forces in North Africa in May 
1943, but these were B ration items prac- 
tically identical with the current C ra- 
tion. ^^ No one was surprised when they 
were not accepted. Overstocks of flour, 
dry skimmed milk, and pork luncheon 
meat in danger of spoilage were trans- 
ferred to the Ministry of Food for rapid 



^* (1) Interv with Littlejohn, 29 Oct 57. (2) Quo- 
tation from Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 

5. P- 7- 

^® The problem of monotony in operational ra- 
tions is discussed in Chapter XV, below. 



disposal to civilians. Eventually these 
excesses were used up. 

In the fall of 1943 SOS ETOUSA 
hoped to return to a single menu as the 
basis for both requisition and distribu- 
tion. A new ration, reflecting minor 
changes in availability of various foods 
and increased knowledge of troop pref- 
erences, went into effect in November.^" 
Like the previous A ration, this one con- 
tained a large proportion of locally pro- 
cured items. The amount of pork and 
prepared pork products was increased, 
with a corresponding decrease in con- 
sumption of beef. The caloric value of 
the ration was not changed. But certain 
shortages (notably tin for cans) were 
now developing in the United States, 
and NYPE was forced to make frequent 
and large-scale substitutions of ration 
items, with the result that depots could 
not follow the menu in making issues. 
Substitutions were passed down the 
supply chain until meals bore little re- 
semblance to the prescribed menu. The 
theater was forced to recognize that the 
difference between a basic requisition- 
ing menu and a short-term distributing 
menu is a permanent one, not to be eli- 
minated by closer liaison with the zone 
of interior or by improved staff methods. 
The requisitioning menu represents 
what is desired, while the distribution 
menu must reflect what is available. 
Requisitions are superior to automatic 
supply, but neither can be completely 
satisfactory, especially in an overseas 
theater partially dependent upon local 
procurement. The November 1943 ra- 
tion represented a permanent long- 
range A ration for theater planning pur- 
poses and for requisitions on the zone 
of interior, varied enough to enable 



^ Admin Cir 85. SOS ETOUSA, 21 Nov 43. 



LIVING IN BRITAIN 



297 



quartermasters to take into account, on 
a montlily basis, actual stocks on hand."^ 

Distribution and food-processing 
menus required constant revision, but 
this was only a small part of OCQM's 
supervisory responsibility at the unit 
mess level. Cooks and bakers, like other 
service troops, came to the ETO only 
partially trained. Basic training courses 
for mess personnel were started at 
Shrivenham and Tidworth in September 
1942. An advanced mess management 
course, stressing the use of British food 
and equipment, and a subsistence labora- 
tory, which was instrumental in develop- 
ing the successive ETO rations, were 
both established in the American School 
Center at Shrivenham in December. 
The OCQM also initiated a Mess Ad- 
visory Service to aid unit mess officers 
and mess sergeants in solving their prob- 
lems on the spot. The mess advisers 
combined demonstration with informal 
instruction, and their visits were fol- 
lowed up by instructional literature, 
much of it prepared by the subsistence 
laboratory, and by regional conferences 
of mess officers. Contests were carried 
on in each base section, and model 
messes were selected to illustrate what 
could be accomplished with the standard 
facilities and food ingredients available 
in the theater. All these activities re- 
sulted in improvements in nutrition and 
palatability of the ration, reduction of 
waste, and a perceptible improvement 
in troop morale.'^ 

One famous landmark of American 
life in Great Britain was the consolidated 
officers' mess at Grosvenor House in 



London. Operated as a cafeteria begin- 
ning in December 1943, it could seat 
nearly 1,000 officers at a time, and dur- 
ing most of 1944 it served over 6,000 
meals a day. Capt. Walter A. Stansbury 
ran the restaurant, which was given the 
nickname of "Willow Run," with a staff 
of more than 400 British civilians. He 
was so successful in overcoming the tech- 
nical and personnel problems involved 
that Littlejohn recommended him for 
the Legion of Merit. "Willow Run" 
contributed greatly to the prestige of 
the Central Base Section, and when 
General Rogers was appointed to the 
new headquarters command in Paris, 
one of his earliest requests was that 
Stansbury, by this time a major, be as- 
signed to his command.-^ 

Clothing 

By War Department directive, troops 
arriving in the ETO brought with them 
the full set of clothing provided by the 
current Table of Basic Allowances. This 
included all elements of the normal uni- 
form issued in the zone of interior ex- 
cept the cotton outer uniform, which 
even in summer was not worn in the 
United Kingdom. The quartermaster 
was therefore charged primarily with the 
replacement of lost or worn clothing and 
with repairing clothing turned in for 
salvage. 

Prior to D-day, the clothing mainte- 
nance problem centered on the source of 
clothing stocks. At the outset the zone 
of interior was prepared to supply the 



^ Littlejohn, ed., Passing in Review, ch. 33, vol. 
I, p. 54. 

==> (1) Ibid., ch. 33, pp. 146-56. (2) QM Supply in 
ETO, II, 70-72. 



^ (i) History of QM Section, Central Base Sec- 
tion. Hist Br OQMG. (2) Personal Ltr, Littlejohn 
to Rogers, 22 Aug 44; Ltr, CQM to Gen Vaughan, 
4 Sep 44, sub: Release of Mess Officers From U.K. 
for Continent. Littlejohn Reading File, vol. XXVII, 
item 101; vol. XXVIII, item 33. 



298 



THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS 



theater with all its requirements, but 
transatlantic shipping was desperately 
short and deliveries were uncertain. The 
quartermaster of SPOBS opened nego- 
tiations with the British for the local 
production of needed clothing. Since 
facilities and cloth were available, the 
OCQM placed trial orders as early as 
July 1942, but fundamental differences 
of opinion quickly developed. Unless 
American orders were sufficiently large 
and definite to justify changes in their 
manufacturing processes, the British pre- 
ferred to maintain their existing produc- 
tion facilities. This meant that Ameri- 
can clothing would be produced accord- 
ing to British specifications as to color, 
cloth, and design. On the other hand, 
American officials were not prepared 
to commit themselves to sizable orders 
(involving tens of thousands of items) 
until they were satisfied that British 
samples conformed to their needs. 
Moreover, improvements in the ship- 
ping situation and in U.S. production 
might lead to cancellation of many 
orders. As a result the only clothing 
produced locally in significant quanti- 
ties consisted of such items as underwear, 
socks, mufflers, mackinaws, and officers' 
battle-dress jackets and trousers, which 
did not require rigid conformity to War 
Department specifications.-* 

Although large amounts of special 
clothing were procured from the British, 
the bulk of regular clothing for U.S. 
enlisted personnel in the United King- 



" (1) Memo, Chief Proc Div OCQM for GPA, 
13 Sep 42, sub: Rpt on Proc of Clothing; Ltr, 
OCQM to War Office, 26 Nov 42, sub: Clothing for 
Enlisted Men; Ltr, GPA to Ministry of Supply, 
2 Apr 43, no sub. All in USFET GPA 420. (2) 
Memo, CQM to Under Secy of State for War, 22 
Jul 42, sub: Proc of Items of Clothing. USFET 
QM 421. (3) QM Supply in ETO, III, 27. 



dom came from the United States. The 
quantities shipped were based on two 
factors: the Tables of Equipment issued 
by the War Department, specifying the 
items and quantities to be issued to each 
soldier, and the replacement factor based 
on the calculated rate of replacement for